So far in the year 2013, at least 573 people have died from Dengue fever in Brazil. This is alarmingly high and twice the figure of deaths than the previous year. A state of alert was declared in several cities in Brazil as the total number of serious reports escalated to 6,566. Brazil has had a history of getting frequently afflicted with the disease, which is caused by four strains of virus that are spread by the mosquito Ades Aegypti. The typical syndrome of this disease is fever, accompanied by muscle and joint pain as well as potentially fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever and shock syndrome. According to officials, the number of people infected with this disease in Brazil could be over a million.
So far, there is no vaccine for this disease. However, there is ray of hope in a potential vaccine which Brazilian scientists are working hard to develop. The researchers will begin clinical trials on humans with this vaccine against Dengue sometime during the end of this year. This has been announced by a leading Sao Paulo based biomedical institute. The work on this vaccine has started in the year 2005, in association with the US based National Institute of Health (NIH). In its first phase, the vaccine has shown positive results and a good immunological response. The second phase of clinical trial is supposedly starting with all healthy adult Brazilian volunteers and will last for over a period of 5 years. The vaccine is being developed to counter the four related strains of the virus. The scientists are trying to develop a low cost, safe and effective vaccine which should be ready for marketing by the year 2018. This will pave its way for a major development as far as the public health sector is concerned.