Thursday, April 15

Dengue vaccine awaits trial

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A dengue vaccine developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research will undergo trials once all permissions from the government are obtained, the council’s director general said in the city on Monday.

Balram Bhargava, the director general, said the vaccine would be tested at a place where the prevalence of dengue was very high.

The council funded a survey on the burden of dengue virus in India. The survey covered 60 districts across 15 states, including Bengal. The results were published in the renowned science journal The Lancet in June this year.

“We would use the vaccine in an area where the prevalence of dengue is found to be very high. But it can be used only after we obtain all the necessary permissions from the government,” Bhargava said.

A city doctor said the vaccine would have to be undergo clinical trials for at least three years and show good results before the World Health Organisation (WHO) allowed it to be marketed. “No vaccine can be marketed without WHO approval,” the doctor said.

The WHO website states that “the incidence of dengue has grown dramatically around the world in recent decades. A vast majority of cases are asymptomatic and hence the actual number of dengue cases are underreported and many cases are misclassified”.

“The number of cases reported increased from 2.2 million in 2010 to over 3.34 million in 2016,” the website states.

Bhargava’s announcement came on a day the deputy mayor of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), Atin Ghosh, visited a police housing complex in Tollygunge, where several people have been infected with the virus over the past few days.

Several cases of dengue have also been reported from Ward 99, which covers areas such as Ramgarh near Garia, a corporation official said.

“About 600 dengue cases have been reported from the Calcutta municipal area since January. There have been no deaths,” he said.

Bhargava said the council was trying to adopt some dengue management strategies undertaken in Sri Lanka. The country has very high prevalence of dengue but is trying to reach zero mortality, he said.

The dengue virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.


Source: The Telegraph

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