Filipino Researchers Develop the First Dengue Drug
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Manila, Philippines — From January to July this year the Philippine Department of Health reported over 140,000 cases of dengue, a number 98% higher than the recorded incidence for the same period last year. With 622 deaths caused, the DOH declared the disease a national epidemic by August 6th of the same year.
According to the Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, declaring a national epidemic is important for the local government to be able to better respond to the worsening situation.
The government through DOH consistently reminds the public to observe the 4-S campaign, the most effective preventative measure against the disease. The said strategy consists of the following actions:
- Search and destroy mosquito breeding places
- Self-protective measures like wearing long sleeves and use of insect repellent
- Seek early consultation on the first signs and symptoms of the disease
- Say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak
Researches on Dengue
A team of researchers from the University of the Philippines-Manila’s National Institute of Health systematically reviewed the trends in local dengue research and their study has since been published online dated 5th of April, 2019. There were 135 studies eligible for their review in the course of 60 years.
They reported that the last decade saw a growing number of studies with more complex and diverse investigations and this can be attributed to the advancement in local research capacity and infrastructure.
World-class success from local researchers
For over seven years now, Dr. Rita Grace Alvero and her team of researchers from De La Salle University Dasmarinas’ Medical and Health Sciences Institute have been wanting to cure dengue through their research. Her team formed the Pharmalytics Corp, a health start-up firm.
According to Jaime Montoya, executive director to the Department of Science and Technology, they are funding this hopeful research.
After years of research, Dr. Alvero finally confirmed to the world on April 3, 2019, that her team’s research helped them in producing capsules containing herbal extracts designed to treat dengue. This was at the stage of DOST’s National Research and Development Conference 2019. Dr. Alvero explained that the capsule is a concoction of three endemic plants that has an antiviral effect.
In an interview, she clarified that the capsule is a drug and not a herbal supplement or vaccine. She further explains that the drug is capable of eliminating the dengue virus and ingesting it cures 100% even the worse cases of dengue with very low platelet count. The first phase of the clinical trial supports this claim and in the next six months, tests are being run to observe side-effects.
The Ultimate Dengue Cure and its Cost
Dr. Alvero anticipates that the Dengue drug will be available by 2020. Though the price is yet to be ascertained, she confirms that the cost will be lower than the hospital and medication expense for having mild dengue.
She reiterates that after all, their intention in developing this drug is to help.
- Agrupis, K. A., Ylade, M., Aldaba, J., Lopez, A. L., & Deen, J. (2019). Trends in dengue research in the Philippines: A systematic review. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 13(4), e0007280. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0007280