November 5, 2014 — MORE than 70,000 dengue cases have been reported across the country inside the 10-month period this year, said the Department of Health (DOH).
Based on the data from the DOH–National Epidemiology Center (NEC), there are a total of 73,815 dengue cases recorded in the country since January 1 until October 4.
“This is 56.32 percent lower compared to the same period last year, which was 168,893,” said the DOH-NEC report.
There were also 288 deaths from dengue, also lower than the 571 tallied last year during a similar period.
Majority of the cases were found to be in Northern Mindanao (7,690); Calabarzon (7,627); Davao Region (6,694); Central Visayas (6,661); and Caraga (6,276).
On the other hand, the National Capital Region (NCR) only had 3,868 dengue cases reported during the said period.
Meanwhile, Paris-based pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, said Tuesday that it is already looking at making it available in the latter part of next year after the completion of their final Phase III clinical efficacy study.
“Sanofi Pasteur will file for registration of its vaccine candidate and, subject to regulatory approval, the world’s first dengue vaccine could be available in the second half of 2015,” said Sanofi Pasteur President Olivier Charmeil.
He said Sanofi Pasteur is already producing the vaccine in a newly dedicated production facility in Neuville-sur-Saône, France.
Based on their study, Sanofi related that the dengue vaccine carries an overall efficacy against any symptomatic dengue disease of 60.8 percent in children and adolescents (9-16 years old), who received three doses of the vaccine.
Analyses also showed that there is an estimated 95.5 percent protection against severe dengue cases and an 80.3 percent reduction in the risk of hospitalization.
“The results of this second phase III efficacy study confirm the high efficacy against severe dengue and the reduction in hospitalization observed during the 25-month active surveillance period of the first phase III efficacy study conducted in Asia,” Sanofi added.
To note, Sanofi Pasteur’s phase III efficacy clinical study program was conducted in over 31,000 participants across 10 endemic countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam in Asia, and Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and Puerto Rico in Latin America and the Caribbean.
According to Charmeil, having a dengue vaccine could help the World Health Organization (WHO) in combating the mosquito-borne disease.
“Until now, we were only able to provide supportive care for patients with dengue. On the strength of the outcome of this phase III efficacy study, we hope this will become an effective preventive measure against dengue,” said Charmeil. - SunStar