Coming soon: A vaccine for dengue

Oz scientists are about to trial a new vaccine which they claim aims to protect against dengue fever.

Melbourne: Scientists in Australia are
about to trial a new vaccine which they claim aims to protect
against dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease.

A team from the University of Western Australia and
the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research is all set to
test the vaccine which can protect against all four strains of
the potentially devastating dengue fever.

Team leader Prof Peter Richmond said a vaccine against
dengue would be of great value to foreign travellers.

"A safe and effective vaccine would be of great
benefit to our region, and provide protection for Australians
heading to these popular tourist destinations," he said.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease, which
is now present in all tropical and sub-tropical regions of the
world. Over half of the world`s population live in areas at
high risk of infection from this virus.

Dengue virus can cause fever, often with severe
headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains and skin rash. It
can cause severe symptoms and can be fatal, mainly in kids.

"At the moment there is no licensed vaccine available
to prevent dengue disease and no specific treatment exists.
Controlling mosquito numbers is the only effective method of
prevention at this time," Dr Richmond said.

Healthy adults aged between 18 and 60 years who want
to find out more about participating in the study can contact
a research nurse on 9340 8542.

The vaccine is being trialled in eight centres around
Australia and has been developed by one of the world`s leading
companies, Sanofi Pasteur.