Costa Rica News – Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and other mosquito born viruses are the only thing that frighten me living in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica becomes the 5th country in the world to approve the Sanofi Pasteur’s tetravalent dengue vaccine after witnessing a 500% increase in dengue incidence in 2016 compared to last year’s numbers. The approval in Costa Rica is the fourth registration of the dengue vaccine in Latin America, and the fifth in the world.
The vaccine, called Dengvaxia, was recently endorsed by the WHO SAGE recommendations supporting the safety, efficacy and public health value of the dengue vaccine in endemic countries. The vaccination protects individuals in the age group of 9 to 45 years living in endemic areas against all four serotypes of dengue. It has already been approved in Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador and the Philippines.
“Dengue is a disease that is beginning to hit us hard as a result of increased mobility and urbanization in the country. Already in 2016, we have recorded 7,711 cases of dengue at week 22 which is more than a 500% increase in incidence compared to last year,” said Jorge Martinez, Pediatrician Member of the Pediatrician Society of Costa Rica. “Approval of the dengue vaccine gives us access to critical prevention tool against dengue to curb further spread of this debilitating disease in our country.”
In April 2016, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended endemic countries to consider introduction of Dengvaxia as part of integrated disease prevention including vector control and community mobilization. The WHO has set the objectives of reducing mortality by dengue by 50% and morbidity by 25% by 2020 in the endemic countries.
“Dengue represents a growing and serious public health issue in many parts of the Americas with significant associated human and economic burden,” according to Cesar Mascarenas, Global Director of Medical Affairs for the Dengue Project, Sanofi Pasteur. “Approval of the dengue vaccine in Costa Rica will give the country’s healthcare providers access to the first clinical preventive tool against dengue, allowing them to better protect their patients against this threat.”
The global burden of dengue
According to the WHO, dengue is currently the fastest-growing mosquito-transmitted disease in the world, causing around 400 million infections every year. Over the last 50 years, dengue has spread; initially present in a handful of countries, it is now endemic in 128, inhabited by around 4 billion people. Also, the incidence of this disease has increased 30 times in this same period.
Even though dengue affects people of all ages and lifestyles, the greatest number of dengue cases worldwide occurs in individuals 9 years of age and older, who represent a highly mobile and social segment of the community capable of contributing significantly to spread of the disease.
Sanofi Pasteur’s dengue vaccine is the first and only vaccine licensed for the prevention of dengue in the world. The vaccine was shown to reduce dengue caused by all four serotypes in two-thirds of the participants. Furthermore, Dengvaxia prevented up to 93% of severe dengue cases and 8 out of 10 hospitalizations.
From Times of India