After India, it’s Pakistan that is now grappling with dengue. As of November 22, a total of 5,235 patients with symptoms similar to dengue fever had been admitted to different hospitals across Pakistan. To date 48 deaths have occurred from dengue fever in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, in India, the Petitions Committee of the Delhi Assembly has held the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi Jal Board responsible for the outbreaks of dengue and vector-borne diseases in the capital. The report states that the corporation's failure to effectively de-silt open drainages has worked as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and insects that have given rise to diseases such as dengue, chikangunya and malaria. The government body has not yet reacted to the filed petition.
While Pakistan and India continue to be fraught with dengue worries, some developments in the sphere of dengue vaccine and diagnosis may offer relief in the future. The Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative (PDVI), a program of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) has decided to work in collaboration with Hawaii Biotech to develop a dengue vaccine for the global prevention of dengue fever. According to Harold Margolis, Director of the PDVI, the primary objective behind this joint venture is to ensure rapid introduction to dengue vaccines into the immunization programs in all affected areas as soon as a vaccine becomes available.
Bio-Rad India, subsidiary of Bio-Rad Laboratories USA, launched India’s first early dengue detection kit called Platelia Dengue NS1 Ag. The common test employed to detect dengue involved identifying the presence antibodies which are produced four to six days after the appearance of the first symptoms. However, this new kit is a time saving device as it checks for virus NS1 antigen which can be traced in the blood stream as soon as the first symptoms of dengue appear.
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