'Bone-Crushing' Fever Risk MUCH Greater Threat than Swine Flu
December 03, 2009
According to the World Health Organization, there are about 50 million new cases of dengue fever around the world each year and about 2.5 billion people, two-fifths of the world's population, are at risk.
Dengue fever is a threat to people in more than 100 countries. It is a flu-like disease that produces a high fever, pain in the eyes and joint aches that can last a week.
Dr. Renu Daval-Drager of the World Health Organization says some cases of what is sometimes called "break bone fever" can be fatal.
There is no vaccine to prevent dengue and no specific medicine to treat it, so the only defense is eradication of the mosquitoes that carry it and measures to protect people from mosquito bites.
But hope is offered by research being carried out at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, which relies on very special mice. By infecting these humanized mice with strains of the dengue virus, investigators can study how the disease takes hold and what factors might cause the more serious and often deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever.