The United States approved the first vaccine against chikungunya on Thursday, developed by the European group Valneva, health authorities announced in a press release.
The vaccine, which will be marketed under the name Ixchiq, is authorized for people aged 18 and over who are at increased risk of being exposed to the virus, said the US Medicines Agency (FDA), whose decisions are widely followed around the world.
The chikungunya virus, transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, causes the sudden onset of fever and violent joint pain. Symptoms can sometimes last for months or even years, but deaths are rare.
This disease is mainly present in tropical regions, particularly in Africa, Southeast Asia and certain regions of the Americas.
However, chikungunya has spread to new areas of the world, causing an increase in cases, the FDA said, calling the disease an “emerging global health threat.” Cases have been recorded in Europe.
An application for authorization has also been submitted by Valneva to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
According to the FDA, at least five million cases of infection have been recorded over the past 15 years.
“Chikungunya virus infections can lead to serious and long-term health problems, particularly for the elderly and individuals with a medical history,” Peter Marks, a senior official at the American agency, said in the press release. .
The virus can also be transmitted to infants from their mothers and prove fatal for the baby.
The vaccine is injected in one dose, and contains the attenuated virus — a standard technique used for other vaccines.
Two clinical trials were carried out in North America on several thousand people. The main side effects are headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, and even nausea.
In rare cases, more serious reactions have been noted, the FDA said. Two clinical trial participants who received the vaccine required hospitalization.
There is currently no specific treatment to cure the disease once the infection is acquired. Treatment mainly aims to relieve fever and pain using common medications such as paracetamol, combined with good hydration and rest.
In the absence of preventive treatment until now, the only way to protect yourself was to avoid getting bitten.
Morocco: the Africa Investment Forum at the bedside of agriculture and sport
The African Development Bank, Afreximbank, Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms, the Islamic Development Bank Group and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization launch a new Alliance for financing in agriculture across Africa Marrakech Investment Forum.
This new private sector-focused Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) will benefit from an investment of 3 billion dollars to transform underdeveloped rural areas of Africa into agro-industrial corridors of prosperity.
The Alliance, comprising development financial institutions, the private sector and development-oriented technical partners, will also help streamline the development and delivery of SAPZ projects.
New commitments include $1.1 billion from the African Development Bank Group , $1 billion from Afreximbank , $300 million from the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) and $600 million from Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms (Arise IIP) and its partners.
The Alliance will raise funds through various investment windows for project preparation, project development and construction, as well as financing for tenant businesses. » said Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina , President of the African Development Bank Group
Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones drive structural transformation in agriculture by connecting rural and urban development through the zone’s ecosystem. These zones integrate smallholder farmers into value chains through logistics and infrastructure, linking them to agro-industrial processors and consumer markets.