Recent news reports about Brazil indicate rising concerns about the prevalence of dengue in the country. In mid-February, Brazil’s health minister Alexandre Padilha warned of an impending dengue epidemic due to the discovery of a new type of dengue virus (type 4) in the populous city of Rio de Janeiro.
The World Health Organization recently estimated that over 40 percent of the world’s population is now at risk for dengue, a mosquito-born viral infection that can develop into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. As a result, dengue has become a major international public health concern. However, dengue cases are often underreported and monitoring incidents of the disease is challenging. That’s why companies, governmental organizations and concerned citizens are coming up with innovative ways to track dengue outbreaks.
Earlier this week 13 pharmaceutical companies*, together with several government and nongovernmental organizations**, pledged to find solutions to eliminate or control 10 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by the year 2020. At an event in London, pharmaceutical companies committed to invest in research and development (R&D) to find new treatments for NTDs along with increasing donations of existing drugs.