May 27, 2016 | Lyon (France)
As part of an ongoing commitment to fight infectious disease, Fondation Mérieux helped to create the documentary Dengue: The Hunt For A Vaccine, raising awareness about the threat of Dengue Fever and educating its audience about the search for a vaccine.
The Story of Dengue
Forty percent of the world’s population is at risk for Dengue Fever, and it is the fastest spreading vector borne viral disease. Previously confined to tropical, Southeast Asian countries, over the past fifty years, dengue has spread across the world, infecting people in India, Japan, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and increasingly threatening the southern United States.
Through interviews with leading scientists and global health players, Dengue: The Hunt for a Vaccine reviews the history and science of dengue, highlighting its impact on individuals, public health, and the economy. It also captures the human stories of dengue: the family in the Philippines who lost their eldest son to dengue, the school educating young children about vector control, the teenager in Mexico and the man in Florida who fell ill, as well as others. Finally, it considers how communities might reduce their burden of disease, specifically through mosquito control and vaccination.
A Dengue Vaccine
In January 2016, the first dengue vaccine became available for use in three high-risk countries: Mexico, the Philippines, and Brazil. Health officials are hopeful that new tools such as these, along with vector control and surveillance, will help meet the WHO’s goal of 50% reduction in dengue mortality and 25% reduction in dengue morbidity by 2020.
As the documentary emphasizes, a vaccine cannot work alone. Instead, it should be used in combination with mosquito control, antiviral drugs and other new tools as part of integrated programs to effectively control dengue. Fondation Mérieux continues to host the Partnership for Dengue Control (PDC), working with its partners to promote the integration of innovative approaches for dengue prevention and control.