US Food & Drug Administration approves dengue vaccine
This month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval of the dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, setting an important milestone in the prevention of dengue fever, the world's most common mosquito-borne viral disease which annually affects over 400 million people worldwide and kills over 20,000.
The approval will boost outcomes for a large number of individuals at risk in dengue-endemic regions as there is currently no cure for dengue.
For the US, the majority of cases are found in the endemic territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The vaccine targets all four dengue virus serotypes and the FDA is recommending its use for those aged 9 through 16 who have laboratory-confirmed previous dengue infection and who live in endemic areas.
Although most cases of dengue fever do not escalate to the more severe Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, mild infection by the dengue virus can leave patients incapacitated for weeks or months after infection and the disease carries a disproportionate economic burden in endemic regions.
It remains the world's fastest growing infectious disease, threatening more than half the world's population according to the World Health Organisation. Consolidating prevention strategies is a fundamental part of tackling dengue fever worldwide.
Link to the full FDA News Release: