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What Is the Dengue Fever Vaccine?

By Erik J.J. Goserud
Updated May 17, 2024
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In medicine, treatments known as vaccines are often utilized as a means of hopefully preventing the acquisition of a particular virus. Dengue fever is an example of a virus that may prove detrimental to one's health. Although a dengue fever vaccine does not currently exist, scientists hope to develop a successful treatment to give as a preventative measure for those at risk of being exposed to this virus.

Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus, and reactions to this virus's wrath include fever, headache, and a generalized pain in muscle and joint locations. This fever is transmitted in viral and bacterial manners, usually by a mosquito species found in tropical areas. If someone acquires dengue fever through an infection, he or she may become immune from the infective form, but the immunity lasts only for a short term for the other three types of this virus.

This disease may occur with no symptoms at first, making it difficult for a victim to be aware of when it was contracted. The rate of dengue fever has increased over the past years, with 110 countries considering the fever endemic. Treatment for one who has contracted this disease depends on the severity of particular case, but it is generally done orally or through fluid transfusions for mild cases, with blood transfusions sometimes necessary for more severe cases. Consistent with the medical principal that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, there is a great call in the medical community to develop a successful dengue fever vaccine for the 50 to 100 million people affected worldwide.

Vaccines are medical treatments, generally injections, that are aimed specifically at the prevention of a particular disease. They work by preparing the body for the potential infection of a virus. This is done by exposing the immune system to what is usually a weakened version of the biological agent being protected against. After initial exposure, the body builds a number of antibodies specific to that organism and is therefore familiar and better equipped against such disease.

Certain medical threats have been all by eliminated by vaccines. Even though taken for granted, they are such significant breakthroughs in medicine that they have prevented billions upon billions of cases of diseases, such as hepatitis, measles, mumps, and polio. Developing vaccines, however, is an arduous challenge due to viral mutation, among other issues.

No dengue fever vaccine currently exists, and so citizens of the world must rely on other means for potential prevention of this disease. Such measures include the control of and protection against mosquito bites in lieu of a dengue fever vaccine. A person living in or traveling to areas where dengue fever exists in significant concentrations would be best advised to consult a health care professional regarding the prevention and treatment of this disease.

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