Dengue fever vaccine is now available in 3 countries

Until recently there has been no truly effective prevention against dengue except avoiding getting bit. Sanofi has produced a dengue fever vaccine that is now available in Brazil The Philippines and Mexico but it is for use only for people who live in these areas of high endemicity, and not for travellers.

The first dengue fever vaccine

CYD-TDV is the first dengue vaccine to be licensed : a live recombinant tetravalent dengue vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur , given as a 3-dose series on a 0/6/12 month schedule.

Dengue : the disease

Dengue is caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses (DENV). These viruses are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever.
Transmission occurs through the bite of an infected mosquito. Human are the main host and the primary source for the female mosquitoes.
The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can’t be spread directly from one person to another person.

Symptoms of Dengue fever usually begin 4 to 6 days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include : sudden, high fever, headaches, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain
fatigue, nausea, skin rash.
Sometimes, symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection

we should consider in a patient who was in an endemic area within 2 weeks before symptoms onset ;
Dengue can be diagnosed by isolation of the virus, by serological tests, or by molecular methods.

There is no specific antiviral agents.

Other interventions for dengue control?

Vector control has been the key strategy to control or prevent the transmission of dengue virus.
Strategies include:

  • preventing mosquitoes from accessing egg-laying habitats by environmental management and modification;
  • disposing of solid waste properly and removing artificial man-made habitats;
  • covering, emptying and cleaning of domestic water storage containers on a weekly basis;
  • applying appropriate insecticides to water storage outdoor containers;
  • using of personal household protection such as window screens, long-sleeved clothes, insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers;
  • improving community participation and mobilization for sustained vector control;
  • applying insecticides as space spraying during outbreaks as one of the emergency vector-control measures

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