Costa Rica News – One of the only things I worry about while living in Costa Rica is the viruses carried by the mosquitoes in the country. The biggest threats are dengue fever and chikungunya.
Currently, the only thing you can do when contracting these viruses are treat the symptoms, but there is hope on the horizon, at least for dengue.
Scientists from London have discovered a new class of antibodies, ones which are capable of neutralizing all four ways that the dengue virus manifests. This amazing result was published in the journal Nature Immunology.
The new antibodies were found in humans and are able to neutralize the initial state of the virus in mosquitoes. It could lead to the development of vaccines and treatments to contradict the disease.
Dengue infects 400 million people a year, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. It has been a problem here in Costa Rica. It is transmitted by mosquito bites and causes high fever, rashes, vomiting and headaches. The most severe form is deadly.
There are four types of Dengue and having one only immunizes you against that specific one. The disease is spreading to more people and more geographical areas.
It’s range is as far as Latin America, Australia and southern Europe.
We can only hope that this vaccine succeeds and soon we can prevent the virus instead of just being able to treat the symptoms.