US to develop dengue vaccine, start clinical trials

By: | Published: August 30, 2016 10:28 PM

The US today said it intends to develop a dengue vaccine and start clinical trials to prevent "unnecessary" loss of lives due to the vector-borne disease, over 15,000 cases of which have already been reported in India this year.

According to the data provided by National Vector Borne Control Disease Programme under the Health Ministry, this year till July 28, 15,099 dengue cases have been reported in various states while 26 people have died due to the disease. (Reuters)According to the data provided by National Vector Borne Control Disease Programme under the Health Ministry, this year till July 28, 15,099 dengue cases have been reported in various states while 26 people have died due to the disease. (Reuters)

The US today said it intends to develop a dengue vaccine and start clinical trials to prevent “unnecessary” loss of lives due to the vector-borne disease, over 15,000 cases of which have already been reported in India this year.

US Secretary of State John Kerry who is at present on an India visit, said that his country intends to develop vaccines both for dengue and tuberculosis, which has also been termed as a major public health challenge.

“To halt unnecessary loss of lives and to prevent diseases, we intend to develop and start clinical trials for vaccines against dengue and tuberculosis,” he said.

He was addressing a joint press interaction with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj after the Second India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

According to the data provided by National Vector Borne Control Disease Programme under the Health Ministry, this year till July 28, 15,099 dengue cases have been reported in various states while 26 people have died due to the disease.

Last year, there were 99,913 cases reported across India while dengue had claimed the lives of 220 people.

There has been a sudden spurt in the dengue cases in the national capital with 487 cases of the disease been so far reported, with 368 of them being recorded in August only.

India has also been fighting the onslaught of tuberculosis.

According to a study, in 2014, 6.3 million cases of tuberculosis worldwide were reported to WHO, with India accounting for over a quarter of these cases, the highest from any country.

It also said that the number of tuberculosis cases in India may be upto two to three times higher than current estimates.

It said that if 40-60 per cent of private sector tuberculosis diagnosis is correct and if private sector tuberculosis treatment lasts on average 2-6 months, this implies that 1.19-5.34 million tuberculosis cases were treated in the private sector in 2014 alone.

The midpoint of these ranges yields an estimate of 2.2 million cases, two to three times higher than currently assumed, it said.

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