Breakthrough vs dengue
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
Every year, when the rainy season comes upon the country, warnings are immediately issued against the threat of the dreaded dengue fever that relentlessly takes its toll regularly.
Government health offices also invariably issue warnings and suggestions on how to prevent the rise of dengue cases, and underscoring the deadly effects of the disease, especially among the young. Statistics are also trotted out, probably in a bid to emphasize the danger it poses, and make the people, parents especially, conscious about the costs it may exact, especially in lives.
Statistics from the prestigious British medical publication, The Lancet, has shown that every year, 500,000 people are affected by dengue, and that of this number, 2.5 percent are expected to die.
Of course we have all been fed information about dengue, how it is transmitted by the mosquito called the aedes egypti, as well as issued instructions on how to eliminate it from our surroundings. Still the scourge manages to surface and wreak disease and even death on our population.
But hope has shone at last in the control of this disease with the development of a vaccine based on studies made in several countries, among them the Philippines. Health authorities have hailed this development that could mean the disappearance or, at least, reduction of dengue by year 2020.The World Health Organization has also set the modest target of reducing deaths from dengue by 50 percent then.
This is indeed a breakthrough that could be as beneficial to humanity as the development of vaccines against the dreadful killers of the olden days like smallpox, typhoid and even influenza, and other diseases that were such a scourge to mankind before.*