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Mexico First in World to Approve Dengue Fever Vaccine

Update Date: Dec 10, 2015 09:14 AM EST

Mexico is the first government in the world to approve a vaccine for Dengue fever.

A French pharmaceutical company called Sanofi developed the drug, which could one day provide protection against the disease for the millions of people living in areas where the disease is prevalent, according to a press release from Sanofi.

The vaccine is called Dengvaxia and it works on all four dengue virus serotypes and can be taken by anyone aged 9 to 45.

"When Sanofi set out to develop a dengue vaccine 20 years ago together with local and global public health and scientific communities, it was with the intention of developing an innovative vaccine to tackle this global public health need," said Olivier Brandicourt, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Sanofi. "Today, with this first marketing authorization of Dengvaxia, we have achieved our goal of making dengue the next vaccine-preventable disease. This is a historic milestone for our company, for the global public health community and, most importantly, for half the world's population who lives at risk of dengue."

The Mexican government approved the vaccine after looking at research based on 400,000 different people across incomes, geographies, and development in 15 different countries, including areas of Mexico where the virus is present.

"Dengue is a growing health threat in Mexico and many other tropical and subtropical countries in Latin America and Asia. The first vaccine approved to prevent dengue fever is a major innovation and a public health breakthrough. Dengvaxia will be a critical addition to the integrated dengue prevention and control efforts. It will be an essential tool to boost on-going community efforts to relieve the long-standing suffering that this disease continues to bring to people in endemic countries like ours," asserts José Luis Arredondo García, Associate Director of Clinical Research in the National Institute of Pediatrics.

Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a skin rash. Particularly severe cases can develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever which causes bleeding and the leaking of blood plasma. Dengue shock syndrome in which an individual's blood pressure drops to dangerous lows is also possible.

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