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French firm Sanofi Pasteur to trial dengue vaccine in India

media Sanofi Pasteur scientists develop dengue fever vaccination Copyright Sanofi Pasteur / Norbert Domy

French health care giant, Sanofi Pasteur is set to test a vaccine against dengue fever in India as fears increase over the global spread of the disease.

120 adults will initially be involved in the trial before the effects of the vaccination are tested on children.

"Sites for the vaccine's final trials will stretch from Thailand to India as this vaccine has to work on populations across countries. We will test it in India soon," Sanofi's CEO Christopher Viehbacher said.

The UN’s World Health Organisation estimates between 50 and 100 million people are infected with dengue fever each year.

More than 100 countries are currently affected by the disease which is spread by carrier mosquitoes. In 1970, the virus was reported in just nine countries.

France’s Réunion Island saw an outbreak of dengue fever this year with at least 20 cases reported.

Patients experience flu-like symptoms and in one of the four strains of the disease can have life-threatening internal bleeding.

As the disease only affects humans, vaccine tests cannot be carried out on lab animals.

It’s hoped the vaccination will be available internationally as early as 2015.

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