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Status Brief

Developmental Milestones/Developments to Date:

Current Assessment/State of the Field:




Reuters, “More than 1,000 exposed to dengue in Florida: Experts say the deadly infection is heading north in the U.S.MSN. July 13, 2010.

  1. “Five percent of the population of Key West, Florida — more than 1,000 people — have been infected at some point with the dengue virus, government researchers reported on Tuesday.”
  2. “After 27 cases of dengue were reported in Florida in 2009, scientists from the CDC and the Florida Department of Health took blood samples from 240 randomly chosen Key West residents.”
  3. “‘These cases represent the reemergence of dengue fever in Florida and elsewhere in the United States after 75 years,’ Margolis said in a statement.”
  4. “Dengue is the most common virus transmitted by mosquitoes, infecting 50 million to 100 million people every year and killing 25,000 of them.”
  5. “It can cause classic flu-like symptoms but can also take on a hemorrhagic form that causes internal and external bleeding and sudden death. Companies are working on a vaccine but there is not any effective drug to treat it.”

Dengue, Vaccination, Florida


AFP, “France reports first mainland dengue infection: ministry” September  18,2010.

  1. “The health ministry said it could not exclude an epidemic, and authorities have asked residents to take measures such as using mosquito nets and removing places where mosquito larvae can grow.”
  2. “To prevent any spread of the virus, epidemiological and entomological surveillance measures will be reinforced. Mosquito control measures have been undertaken around the area where the affected person lives.”
  3. “While this is the first infection reported in France, its overseas territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe have been hit by a dengue epidemic which peaked in August.”
  4. “Since it erupted in February, 32,600 cases have been detected in Martinique, with 432 people hospitalised and 13 deaths. Guadeloupe saw five dengue-related deaths.”



UN News CentreLarge swathes of Asia in grip of dengue, UN health agency cautions” September 18, 2010.

  1. “The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that dengue fever, for which there is no treatment or vaccine, is sweeping across Asia, with the number of hospitalizations and severe cases growing.”
  2. “Some 2.5 billion people are at risk globally of contracting dengue, one of the world’s fastest-emerging infections, with more than 70 per cent of them living in the Asia-Pacific region.”
  3. “Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam are among the Asian countries are badly affected by the disease, while Singapore is witnessing a decline.”
  4. “WHO said that the rise in cases in Asia is due to higher temperatures and rainfall in many areas this year, growing population densities and greater international travel.”
  5. “Although the increase in cases has not yet been conclusively linked to global warming, climate change plays a key role in the spread of dengue, with mosquitoes being found in areas where they were once not common, including the Republic of Korea and the highlands of Papua New Guinea.”

Dengue, WHO


Danny Rose, “Australian trials of dengue vaccineThe Sydney Morning Herald, September 24, 2010.

  1. “Late-stage trials are underway for a vaccine that would protect against all four known strains of the disease and study participants are now sought in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.”
  2. “Over half of the world’s population live in areas at high risk of dengue fever which can be fatal, usually among children, and it causes fever and severe headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain and skin rash.”
  3. “Australia also has sporadic outbreaks of the infection, usually associated with travellers returning from dengue-prone regions and confined to the northern Queensland range of its specific type of carrier mosquito.”

Dengue, Vaccination


Aurelio M., Calleja N., Tubeza P., “Dengue cases hit record high; more deaths fearedPhilippine Daily Inquirer, September 24, 2010.

  1. “Dr. Eric Tayag, head of the National Epidemiology Center, Thursday disclosed that the 62,503 dengue cases reported from January to Aug. 21 was the highest ever number recorded in the country, and warned that deaths from dengue could also reach a new high this year.”
  2. “Tayag said that the 62,503 cases reported from January to Aug. 21 were 88.8 percent higher than the 33,102 recorded during the same eight-month period last year.”



Fourcade M., “France Finds Second Case of Dengue Fever Transmitted by Tiger MosquitoBloomberg, September 24,2010.

  1. “France found a second case of dengue fever transmitted locally by an Asian tiger mosquito, suggesting the disease may take hold as the insect settles on the European continent.”
  2. “The first case of local infection was found Sept. 13, also in Nice, and “is an important public health event” because it’s the first time that natural transmission of the dengue virus has been reported in continental Europe since 1927-1928, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on its website.”
  3. “Dengue is usually transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment. Symptoms include fever, headaches and joint pain. A small number of cases can cause hemorrhage and result in death, according to the ECDC. Sanofi-Aventis SA is working on an experimental vaccine.”



Cresswell A., “Mozzies infected in war on dengueThe Australian, October 2, 2010.

  1. “The Australian researchers leading the international research push will today announce regulatory approval to begin releasing mosquitoes infected with bacteria they hope will stop dengue in its tracks.”
  2. “The disease, which can be fatal in severe cases, has no vaccines or treatments and is currently causing concern for athletes travelling to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, which is experiencing an outbreak with more than 3000 recent cases.”
  3. “The bacterium, called wolbachia, does not harm the mosquitoes once it infects them, but once inside the insects displaces the dengue virus and prevents it from multiplying.”
  4. “The only way wolbachia can be passed from mosquito to mosquito is through the generations, in infected eggs, and the researchers hope it will gradually spread through the wild mosquito population.”
  5. “The bacteria could not live in humans and could not infect them or other animals mosquitoes feed on, because they are too large to travel down the insects’ salivary ducts, Professor O’Neill said.”
  6. “Extensive studies of people bitten repeatedly by other species of mosquito that did carry the bacteria had failed to find any ill-effects, he said.”
  7. “”With all of that, we are very confident that it poses no risk to human safety or the environment,” he said.”



Editors, “NIH Funds Advanced Development of Three Biodefense Vaccines: Research to Focus on Improving Delivery of Dengue and Anthrax Vaccines,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH News,, October 7, 2010.

  1. “The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced three new contracts to fund research on vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases and biological threats that could be used in a terror attack. Each project focuses on simple and efficient vaccine delivery approaches that could be deployed quickly. The total funding for the three contracts could reach $68 million, depending on the successful completion of defined project milestones.”
  2. “The three studies will focus on a dengue vaccine delivered by a needle-free device, an anthrax vaccine delivered orally and an anthrax vaccine delivered in conjunction with an adjuvant—a compound that stimulates the immune system.”
  3. “The dengue vaccine is being developed by Inviragen Inc. of Fort Collins, Colo. The vaccine is tetravalent, or designed to protect against any of the four related viruses that cause dengue fever. A needle-free  system, developed by PharmaJet of Golden, Colo., will be used to deliver the liquid vaccine through the skin at a high speed. Researchers anticipate that protection will be possible with one to two doses.”
  4. “PaxVax Inc. of San Diego will develop and test two formulations of an anthrax vaccine. Both formulations contain a gene known as rPA, which codes for a protein that protected animals from anthrax in previous studies. The gene will be inserted into a carrier virus or vector called adenovirus 4 and the vaccine delivered orally via a capsule.”
  5. “Pending review and approval of the Investigational New Drug Application by the Food and Drug Administration, a Phase 1 clinical trial will be conducted to select one of the two formulations for further development. NIAID has made an initial award of $3.8 million to PaxVax. If milestones are met, the total award could amount to $23.8 million over the next nine years.”

Anthrax, Vaccination, Biodefense, Dengue


Editors, “Malaysia to use lab mosquitoes to fight dengueAssociated Press, Last accessed October 18, 2010.

  1. “The program calls for genetically engineered male mosquitoes to be released into the wild that would mate with females and produce offspring that live shorter lives, thus curbing the population.”
    “Malaysian scientists say laboratory test trials have made them optimistic.”
  2. “Efforts to urge Malaysians to keep neighborhoods clean and destroy stagnant sources of water — which are mosquito breeding grounds — have failed, and “innovative ways” are needed to combat dengue, Najib said.”
  3. “Malaysian authorities plan to release between 2,000 and 3,000 genetically modified mosquitoes in two areas, said Lim Chua Leng, a Health Ministry official. The plan, which cannot be undertaken without Cabinet approval, would be the first such release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Asia to combat dengue.”
  4. “WHO Western Pacific regional director Shin Young-soo on Sunday said he welcomed Malaysia’s efforts to step up the fight against dengue, but also reportedly cautioned that care must be taken in introducing a new species to the environment, The Star newspaper reported.”
  5. “Some Malaysian environmentalists say releasing such mosquitoes could have unintended consequences.”



Gale Jason, “Break-Bone Fever Draws Roche Drug as Dengue Virus Hits RivieraBloomberg, Last accessed October 27, 2010.

  1. “Roche Holding AG, which became Europe’s largest drugmaker selling cancer medicines, is working on the first weapon to fight the most common mosquito-borne virus.”
  2. “Roche began tests on a drug initially developed for hepatitis C in July to see if it works on dengue fever, which was carried from the tropics to the French Riviera this year for the first time.”
  3. “Roche expects to know within months if the pill, balapiravir, may give it a head start in the hunt for a treatment for dengue, nicknamed “break-bone fever” because of the debilitating joint ache it causes.”
  4. “Balapiravir works by inhibiting an enzyme called polymerase, which dengue uses to replicate inside human cells. So far, it’s been well tolerated, enabling doctors to plan to try a 3,000 milligram-strength tablet on 20 more patients, Shulman said.”
  5. “Novartis, also based in Basel, abandoned research on its most promising dengue drug candidate because of safety concerns. Roche is investigating whether the antiviral drug its scientists discovered in 1998 may give it a head start.”
  6. “Dengue and hepatitis C are both from the same family of viruses that also includes yellow fever and West Nile. Roche stopped studying balapiravir for hepatitis C in 2008 after it lowered a type of white blood cell and impaired the vision of some patients taking it in combination with other drugs for more than 12 weeks.”



Editors, “WHO: Pakistan Confirms 99 Cases of CholeraAP Last accessed October 27, 2010.

  1. “The World Health Organization says Pakistan has confirmed 99 cases of cholera from across flood-affected areas.”
  2. “WHO says it was alerted by Pakistan on Oct. 12.”
  3. “Geneva-based WHO also said Monday that Pakistan has reported 26 cases, including 3 deaths of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. It says there also have been more than 1,500 laboratory-confirmed cases of dengue fever, including 15 deaths.”

Cholera, Dengue, Hemorrhagic Fever, WHO


Singer, Stacy, “First Case of Dengue Fever Reported in Palm Beach County,” The Palm Beach Post, October 13, 2011, Last Checked 10/19/2011

  1. “There are no medications available, only supportive care, nor is there a vaccine, said health department spokesman Tim O’Connor.”
  2. “‘They won’t be doing mass aerial spraying,’ O’Connor said. ‘They are doing less spraying. But they work very closely with us and respond very quickly.’”
  3. “Other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile encephalitis, have not turned up locally, though northern Florida is seeing a spike in cases, he said.”
  4. “The county is using trucks to spray the area where the case was confirmed. That location is not being released because of privacy issues.”

Dengue, Drug Resistance, Public Health


Gardiner, Harris. “As Dengue Fever Sweeps India, a Slow Response Stirs Experts’ Fears.” November 6, 2012. New York Times. Last Checked November 8, 2012.

  1. “An epidemic of dengue fever in India is fostering a growing sense of alarm even as government officials here have publicly refused to acknowledge the scope of a problem that experts say is threatening hundreds of millions of people, not just in India but around the world.”
  2. “India has become the focal point for a mosquito-borne plague that is sweeping the globe. Reported in just a handful of countries in the 1950s, dengue (pronounced DEN-gay) is now endemic in half the world’s nations.”
  3. “’The global dengue problem is far worse than most people know, and it keeps getting worse,’said Dr. Raman Velayudhan, the World Health Organization’s lead dengue coordinator.”
  4. “The tropical disease, though life-threatening for a tiny fraction of those infected, can be extremely painful. Growing numbers of Western tourists are returning from warm-weather vacations with the disease, which has reached the shores of the United States and Europe. Last month, health officials in Miami announced a case of locally acquired dengue infection.”
  5. “Here in India’s capital, where areas of standing water contribute to the epidemic’s growth, hospitals are overrun and feverish patients are sharing beds and languishing in hallways. At Kalawati Saran Hospital, a pediatric facility, a large crowd of relatives lay on mats and blankets under the shade of a huge banyan tree outside the hospital entrance recently.”
  6. “Officials say that 30,002 people in India had been sickened with dengue fever through October, a 59 percent jump from the 18,860 recorded for all of 2011. But the real number of Indians who get dengue fever annually is in the millions, several experts said.”
  7. “’I’d conservatively estimate that there are 37 million dengue infections occurring every year in India, and maybe 227,500 hospitalizations,’ said Dr. Scott Halstead, a tropical disease expert focused on dengue research.”
  8. “The reason that such an extensive epidemic can hide in plain sight is that as many as 80 percent of dengue infections cause only mild symptoms of fatigue, said Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. For many, the disease is experienced as ‘maybe just a fever that someone shrugs off.’”
  9. “But the remaining 20 percent may be affected by more serious flulike symptoms, with high fever, vomiting, searing pain behind the eyes, skin rash, and muscle and joint aches that can be so intense that the illness has been dubbed ‘breakbone fever.’”

Emergency Response, Pandemic, Dengue