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Dengue fever: Rapidly increasing in the United States

Dengue fever: Rapidly increasing in the United States

Dengue fever is on the rise in the United States. As of February, 673,267 people have already been infected in the state this year. There is actually a vaccine for immunity: Qdenga (TAK-003) from Takeda. But: “The vaccine does not contain dengue,” says Daniel Salas, manager of Paho. Salas said the most important measures against the spread of the pathogen are still field operations, vector control, prevention and education. This means: eliminating breeding sites, protecting against bites and educating people about safety measures.

In addition, “currently available vaccines are not enough to reduce transmission and prevent deaths,” said PAHO director Jarbas Barbosa, adding, “The mortality rate is currently less than 0.05 percent, but maintaining this number is difficult to control.”

Contagion cannot be controlled like this

The TAK-003 vaccine consists of two doses administered three months apart. Because of the time lag, “it's not a tool to control the epidemic at this point,” Barbosa said. “Studies have shown that only one vaccine in eight consecutive years can have a significant impact on dengue transmission,” Barbosa said.

According to Baho, there is currently hope for another new vaccine developed in collaboration with MSD in Brazil. The vaccine Butanton-TV is currently in phase 3 trials and has a decisive advantage over the Takeda vaccine: single-dose application, which would make it easier to use in situations with rapid transmission of the pathogen. “But this vaccine won't be available until 2025,” Barbosa said.

Takeda counters

Takeda assesses the effectiveness of the vaccine differently: “Half of the world's population is now at risk of contracting the dengue virus. Global incidence continues to increase due to climate change and urbanization. “Takeda's efforts are aimed at meeting global demand for our vaccine and helping reduce the burden of dengue worldwide,” a spokesperson said.

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The agency agrees with Paho's assessment: “Preventive measures, such as controlling vector mosquitoes and educating people to avoid mosquito-breeding areas, are primarily relevant to prevent the spread of dengue viruses and increase control of dengue infections,” the spokesperson said. . “Furthermore, vaccines serve as another important pillar of preventive measures to prevent the spread of dengue infections. Only a combination of appropriate measures can be successful in the long term and sustainably.

Protects against Qdenga disease

Also: “TAK-003 is a tetravalent live attenuated vaccine that is available in more than 20 endemic and non-endemic countries worldwide. The vaccine is primarily developed to protect people from dengue in countries where dengue is endemic,” the spokesperson said. But: “Vaccine protects against dengue, but does not prevent transmission of dengue virus through mosquito bites.”

The overall effectiveness is very important: “In the approval-appropriate Tides study, the overall effectiveness in preventing dengue was 80.2 percent,” the spokesperson said. What's more: “Hospitalization rate for dengue has decreased by 90.4 percent. Its effectiveness has been proven to last up to 4.5 years after the second vaccination.

Tiger mosquito also in Germany

Apart from dengue fever, the tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can transmit other dangerous diseases and has now arrived in Germany due to climate change. 39 confirmed cases of the tropical disease dengue fever have already been recorded in Berlin this year. According to the State Office of Health and Social Affairs (Lageso), the victims have only been infected abroad, but there is a medium and long-term risk of infection here at the beginning of the mosquito season.

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