Despite vaccine, dengue fever vector is still the greatest problem

Publicação: 5 de June de 2015

Dr. Dalcy Albuquerque alerts that combat measures against the Aedes aegypti mosquito are the most favorable to contain dengue, chikungunya and zika virus outbreaks

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There is a possibility of a zika epidemic; many people may be infected, since the Aedes is a very disseminated vector throughout Brazil

A vaccine against dengue, manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur and that should be available in 2016, is one of the most expected solutions for the Brazilian medical community. News about the product should be disclosed during the 51st Congress of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (Medtrop/BSTM), which will take place from June 14 to 17 in Fortaleza, Ceara. The infectious diseases specialist Dr. Dalcy Albuquerque Filho acknowledges the importance of the drug, but alerts to the need to keep focus in the combat against the transmitting mosquito, the Aedes aegypti.

“I believe that, with the vaccine, we may solve part of the dengue problem, but not the Aedes – which is still the greatest problem”, reminds the specialist who is the representative of the BSTM in the Federal District. The importance of the measures, according to him, is even greater because the mosquito also transmits other diseases as chikungunya and the recently arrived zika virus.

According to Dr. Albuquerque, it is fundamental to reinforce attention on the preventive measures, as water buildup focuses, adequate places for the transmitting mosquito to breed. “Prevention against dengue must be made inside the household against the mosquito. Doing this, we will be controlling the other diseases”, he clarifies. Besides this, he considers important to develop researches about technologies that may prevent mosquitoes of transmitting dengue.

The doctor, however, celebrates the arrival of the vaccine. The solution of the pharmaceutical company has an efficiency between 40% and 60% of protection against dengue, depending on which subtype of the disease. The second phase of the tests in Brazil are already in course. “If at least there is a drop in the number of cases, it will be already fundamental from the public health point of view”, he stresses.

By the end of May, Renato Alencar Porto, director of the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance (Anvisa), said Brazil could be the first country in the world to register a vaccine from Sanofi. This can happen until the end of the year.

Zika vírus

About the zika vírus in the Country, Dr. Albuquerque admits there is a possibility of an outbreak of the disease, which causes redness and itching in the body. “Since this disease is transmitted by the Aedes and the mosquito is very disseminated throughout the country, there is a real possibility of an epidemic by zika. Many people may be infected by the virus and not develop the symptoms”, he said.

Zika has a slighter clinical picture than dengue or chikungunya and only strikes one out of five infected people. Besides still not being related to any deaths, the evolution is benign and the symptoms – which also include joint aches and low fever – usually disappear from three to seven days.

The first cases in Brazil were found in the Norhteast, this May, according to the Health Ministry. Although the region reported almost all the cases, there have been reports of the virus in Sao Paulo, in the city of Sumaré.…