Brazilian Dengue outbreak highlights vaccine need

An outbreak of dengue fever in and around Rio de Janeiro has afflicted more than 75,000 people since the beginning of the year, with 12 people dying in just the past week. No vaccine is available for the disease, leaving health officials to house patients in a tent city of the sick as they call in the military to help fumigate areas in an attempt to eradicate the mosquitoes that carry the disease. Rio Governor Sergio Cabral says he may also ask Cuba to help by dispatching doctors to treat the ill.

Hawaii Biotech, meanwhile, has garnered a million dollar grant to move an experimental dengue vaccine into the clinic. Hawaii Biotech's dengue vaccine program has attracted $10 million in grants over the past five years. This latest grant is coming from the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative of the Seoul-based International Vaccine Institute, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

- check out this report
- read the Star Bulletin article on Hawaii Biotech

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