Scientists in Thailand announced Thursday that they had produced the first ever vaccine that protects against dengue fever—a potentially deadly disease that is spreading to new parts of the globe thanks to climate change.
Medical experts hailed the announcement as a breakthrough and expect the vaccine to be available commercially in about a decade.
Dengue Haemorrogic Fever (DHF) is a potentially lethal complication of a less severe dengue infection—which is transmitted via mosquitoes. The World Health Organization estimates that around 50 million people are infected with dengue each year.
DHF isn't something to take lightly: it's the leading cause of death and serious illness among children in some Asian countries.
A vaccine is crucial because—aside from medical care to address the symptoms—there is no dengue-specific treatment. Currently, the only way to curb transmission is through mosquito eradication.