French manufacturer hopes to market in 2015
Mexico, which last year reported more than 60,000 cases of Dengue Fever nationwide, is playing a key role in clinical tests being carried out by the French pharmaceutical manufacturer Sanofi. The company hopes to have a vaccine on the market by 2015.
More than 20,000 persons from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Puerto Rico, including 8,000 Mexicans, participated in the third stage of trials which have been underway for more than 20 years.
Sanofi researchers said that in children and adolescents between nine and 16 years of age, a 61% lower rate of Dengue infection was noted after three applications of the vaccine. Moreover, it appeared to provide protection against each of the four known subtypes of the disease.
The company also reported that among vaccine recipients who ultimately tested positive for Dengue during the study period, there was a reduction of more than 80% in those who required hospitalization or clinical care.
In many cases Dengue presents such mild symptoms that patients do not realize they are infected. The disease cannot be spread by casual contact. Mosquitoes which first bite an infected person are the sole carriers of Dengue. Only a blood test can confirm its presence in the body. There is no cure.
This week Mexican Undersecretary of Health Pablo Kuri said this country will likely be one of the first to be offered the vaccine on a large scale, but he emphasized that experts here will conduct their own cost-benefit analysis before they decide whether to include it in the "national scheme of vaccination." Mexico has a population approaching 120 million people.
"The vaccine is not the solution to Dengue," Kuri said. He emphasized that elimination of mosquito breeding grounds is far more critical, including the maintenance of rubbish free properties and the removal of even the smallest standing water sources.
At this point in 2014 approximately 11,000 cases of Dengue Fever have been reported to Mexican health authorities, including 7,655 of the milder classic type and 3,255 of the far more serious and potentially fatal hemorrhagic type. Patients who contract classic Dengue may be more susceptible to other subtypes, including hemorrhagic. The treatment for all types is palliative care only.
Jan. 4 - Dengue Fever still claims lives in Mérida, but far fewer
Feb. 24 - Dengue Fever ranking has Jalisco authorities concerned
Mar. 16 - Mexican public health expert warns of Dengue outbreak
June 27 - Mexican health officials report first diagnosed case of Dengue-like virus in Jalisco
Nov. 4 - Dengue Fever vaccine officially launched in Mexico
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