US develops drug for dengue; India to get it after 10 years

Hyderabad: Even as Telangana, especially, Hyderabad, reels under ‘epidemic like’ spread of Dengue other fevers and associated diseases, good news from the U.S. says that the Food and Drug Administration there has approved a vaccine that can prevent the spread of four types of dengue.

According to reports reaching from the U.S. this year U.S Food and Drug Administration in association with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved “Dengvaxia, the first vaccine approved for the prevention of dengue disease caused by all dengue virus serotypes (1, 2, 3 and 4).”

But the bad news is that it would take ten or more years for the new drug to arrive in India for sale, experts working in the field said.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad is witnessing a huge rise in the number of Dengue fever cases. During the current month, around 916 cases of dengue have been reported at Osmania General Hospital alone. Out of this 250 cases were positive. At the same over 80 cases of malaria have been reported, said Dr. Mohammed Abdul Mohi Siddiqui, Addl. RMO of the hospital.

According to a medical report more than one-third of the Telangana population is living in areas at risk for infection by dengue virus which causes dengue fever.

Dr. Mohammed Rafi, RMO of OGH said, “The first infection with dengue virus typically results in either no symptoms or a mild illness that can be mistaken for the flu or another viral infection. A subsequent infection can lead to dengue, including dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), a more severe form of the disease that can be fatal. Its symptoms may include stomach pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding, and eye pain.

About 95 percent of all severe/hospitalized cases of dengue are associated with second dengue virus infection. Since there are no specific drugs approved for its treatment care is limited to the management of symptoms.

According to data available from January to August this year, around 1515 cases of dengue have been reported out of which 329 turned out to be positive.

Speaking to siasat.com Dr. Siddiqui said, “Due to Genetic Mutation the causes of the disease are different every year. We are trying our best to reduce the risk of losing lives.”

Authored by Roshan Bint Raheem & Mohammed Hussain mohammedhussain.reporter@gmail.com

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