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Dengue

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Philippines Health Secretary Warns Of Impending Dengue Threat

With the start of the rainy season, Francisco Duque III, health secretary in the Philippines, on Tuesday emphasized a continued government commitment to controlling and preventing dengue – a disease for which there is currently no vaccine or specific drug, the Manila Times reports.

Sanofi Hopes To Launch Dengue Vaccine In 2014

France’s Sanofi-Pasteur, the world’s largest vaccine maker, said Friday it hopes to introduce a dengue vaccine in 2014 to some high-risk nations, AlertNet reports.

Rural Areas Bear Higher Burden Of Dengue Fever, Study Shows

“In dengue-endemic areas such as South-East Asia, in contrast to conventional thinking, rural areas rather than cities may bear the highest burden of dengue fever,” according to a study led by Wolf-Peter Schmidt from the Nagasaki Institute of Tropical Medicine in Japan and published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, a PLoS press release states. The authors “analyzed a population in Kanh-Hoa Province in south-central Vietnam (~350,000 people) that was affected by two dengue epidemics between January 2005 and June 2008” and “found that at low human population densities, mostly in rural areas, dengue risk is up to three times higher than in cities, presumably because the number of mosquitoes per individual is higher in low-density areas,” according to the release (8/30).

Pakistan Facing Dengue Outbreak, Humanitarian Aid Shortages For Flood Victims

“More than 12,000 have been infected and 125 people have died over the past two months in Pakistan after coming down with dengue fever, a health department spokesman said Friday,” CNN reports (Habib, 10/1). Citing the same numbers, WHO spokesperson Tarek Jasarevic said the agency is providing support for “case management, community mobilization, vector control and public awareness campaigns,” according to the U.N. News Centre. “Last year, 11,024 confirmed cases of dengue fever and 40 deaths were reported in Pakistan, but this year the number of cases has climbed to 12,466,” the news service writes (9/30).

Government, Humanitarian Agencies Respond To Flooding In Philippines, Warn Of Disease Threat

“Philippine authorities are warning of the spread of diseases in cramped evacuation centers, days after flash floods hit the southern Philippines and claimed more than a thousand lives,” ABC/Asia Pacific News reports, noting that flooding also has affected the country’s northern provinces, displacing at least 50,000 people (Escalante, 12/20). Tropical Storm Washi “hit the main southern island of Mindanao over the weekend, bringing heavy rains, flash floods and overflowing rivers that swept whole coastal villages away,” forcing 44,000 people to evacuate the area, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer News writes (Celis, 12/21). Officials say hundreds of thousands of people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and the U.N. has stepped up its efforts in the area, the U.N. News Centre reports (12/20).

New York Times Examines Efforts To Stop Spread Of Dengue In Asia

“While emerging diseases like influenza A(H1N1), also known as swine flu, continue to dominate the headlines, experts say dengue is not only thriving in many endemic areas, it is also spreading to countries previously unaffected by the disease,” New York Times writes.

Dengue Vaccine Could Be Available In Four Years

A vaccine against the mosquito-borne infection dengue, the first to reach the final stage of clinical testing, “has seen ‘very promising’ results in Thailand, a specialist involved in the tests said on Friday,” Reuters reports (Petty/Mahlich, 6/10).