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Dengue Fever Vaccine 'May Be In Sight,' Reuters Reports

Reuters reports on efforts to develop a vaccine for dengue fever, writing that “victory over … the intensely painful ‘breakbone fever’ … may be in sight.” Paris-based firm Sanofi “hopes for positive results in September from a key trial among children in Thailand that would set it on course to market a shot in 2015, which would prevent an estimated 100 million cases of dengue infection each year,” the news service writes, noting, “Of 20,000 annual deaths, many are of children.” According to Reuters, “Results from that clinical study, in what is known as the Phase IIb of the international standard three-stage process of assessment, are expected in the third quarter” and “will also be presented for scientific scrutiny at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta in November.”

The news service recounts a history of the disease, noting it “was spread to global pandemic proportions in part due to the massive movements of armies through the Pacific theatre in World War II,” which “prompted the first efforts to develop a vaccine, as U.S. and Japanese scientists isolated the virus spread by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.” Reuters writes, “The U.S. Army’s quest for a vaccine had most recently been pursued in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline,” but “Sanofi now seems closest to offering a viable treatment,” adding, “Orin Levine, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says the new vaccine is a potential breakthrough but warned its roll-out may not be straightforward” (Hirschler, 6/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.