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Monday, February 10, 2014

Malaysia : New dengue strain ‘found’

Via New Straits Times, excerpt :

Medical experts believe that the discovery of a fifth dengue variant in the country is just the tip of a greater risk to human lives.

Their worry is that the discovery of the latest dengue "Den-5" virus by researchers, was a portent of things to come.  
Malaysia Medical Association  president Datuk Dr N.K.S. Tharmaseelan said dengue researchers believed that the virus had been circulating in the jungles of Malaysia and Indonesia for possibly thousands of years without jumping into the urban transmission cycle.
They believed that that this may no longer be the case.
He said although the virus had not been detected in humans, except for one man in Sarawak who was found to be infected by the Den-5 virus several years ago, the need to keep the strain, as well as other possibly unidentified new dengue variants dormant in these obscure areas, couldn't be more pressing.
The Den-5 virus, exclusive only to Sarawak so far, is claimed to be the fifth dengue strain to be detected in the country.
It is the first new subtype in 50 years and those in medicine believe that this could be another challenge to the development of a dengue vaccine."

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