A researcher at the Sao Paulo institute revealed that Brazil will start production of a vaccine to combat dengue fever very soon. "We are already in the human clinical trials phase and in December we should have a pilot plant producing the vaccine," Albuquerque Luna of the Butantan Institute told the recent meeting, according to the Amparo Research Foundation of Sao Paulo.
Researchers estimate that around three billion people in the world live in regions susceptible to dengue contagion and another 20 million tourists pass through them.
Last year, there were 100 million cases of the fever, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and which causes fever, aches, rashes, vomiting and in rare cases death. Children are especially vulnerable.
Brazil is frequently afflicted with the disease, which this year killed more than 120 people in a severe epidemic in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Luna said there were plans to go into full-scale production of the vaccine in 2010, and that the research was being carried out in conjunction with the US National Institute of Health.
Another Brazilian institute, Fiocruz, has said it plans to start clinical trials of its own dengue vaccine in 2012.