Wednesday, July 07, 2004

All Ah We: Good news on the horizon regarding Dengue and TB?

Singapore, Singapore, Jul. 6 (UPI) -- Dengue fever infects as many as 50 million people a year, killing at least 12,000, yet there are no diagnostic kits, vaccines or drugs to treat this viral disease, which is transmitted to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. Meanwhile, tuberculosis, a disease often associated with the 19th century, is on the rise again, with new strains proving drug resistant to existing treatments.

So far limited or no research has been conducted to find drugs to fight those two diseases. But the newly created Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases (NITD) in Singapore is hoping to have at least two compounds in clinical trials by 2008 and two drugs available to patients by 2012.
~Snip~
The institute, a public-private partnership between Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board which was created last year, officially opened Monday in Singapore's new Biopolis research facility. The institute has already 64 scientists working, a number that should rise to 100 by the end of the year.

While 20 years ago dengue was limited to seven countries, it has now spread through the entire tropical belt (with the most seriously affected areas being Southeast Asia and the Caribbeans) and is getting more virulent, noted Professor Paul Herrling, Chairman of the Board of the NITD and Head of Corporate Research at Novartis.

Dengue has become a major international public health concern with over half the world's population living in at-risk areas and despite 20 years of research, a vaccine has proven hard to develop, because they would need to protect against all four dengue viral types.
Somehow I find that I don't put much stock in some of their figures...
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization, which declared tuberculosis a global emergency more than a decade ago, expects 36 billion people to die of the disease between 2000 and 2020.
Huh?
Six times the global population is expected to die from TB in the next 16 years!?

Assuming that it's not the WHO's dengue fevered typo, UPI either uses freelance proofreaders from the St. Croix Avis or there's gonna be one hell of a baby boom.

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