Health experts to weigh broad dengue vaccines
Experts will meet here Monday and Tuesday to discuss progress toward large-scale human testing of a dengue fever vaccine, possibly in two years.
Dr. Duane Gubler, director of the Asia-Pacific Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, chairs the 14-member Board of Counselors for the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative.
The board will discuss the development of dengue fever vaccines, field sites, guidelines and vaccination strategies.
Hawaii had a dengue fever epidemic in 2001-2002, with 119 confirmed cases from June 2001 to May 2002. Of those, 26 were on Oahu, four on Kauai and 89 on Maui, where the visitor industry suffered a heavy blow.
Mosquitoes transmit dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever, a viral infection found in tropical and subtropical regions. The hemorrhagic form is one of the major causes of hospitalization and death among children in Southeast Asian countries.
Members of the dengue vaccine initiative board are from Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, Mexico and the mainland United States.