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Japanese Companies Collaborate to Combat Dengue Fever Globally

Dengue Fever
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In response to the alarming rise in dengue fever cases worldwide, particularly in Southeast Asia and South America, Japanese companies have stepped up their efforts to develop and supply essential tools to combat the disease. These collaborative efforts aim to provide effective solutions to curb the spread of this mosquito-borne illness.

Kao Corporation and Earth Corporation have jointly developed ARS Mos Shooter, a mosquito repellent spray that will be launched in Thailand in July 2024. This innovative product prevents mosquitoes from flying by covering them with an interfacial active agent that blends water and oil. The spray is free of chemically synthesized substances and is effective against even pesticide-resistant mosquitoes. The companies are considering expanding the product’s availability to Vietnam and Malaysia.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company has collaborated with Biological E. Limited, an Indian pharmaceutical maker, to significantly increase the supply capacity of its dengue vaccine, TAK-003. The partnership aims to produce 100 million doses annually by 2030, which could potentially protect 50 million people. In 2023, Takeda shipped 3.6 million doses of the vaccine to countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Brazil.

Fujifilm Corporation has been selling antigen test kits that can detect the dengue fever virus to medical institutions in Thailand and the Philippines since summer 2023. These kits can determine if a person is infected with the disease even if they only carry a small quantity of the virus, enabling early diagnosis and treatment.

According to the World Health Organization, dengue fever infections reached a record high of over 6.5 million cases in 2023, with a death toll exceeding 7,300. The disease is currently rampant in more than 100 countries, with 70% of infections concentrated in Asia. In Thailand alone, dengue fever cases surged four-fold, and the death toll increased six-fold compared to the previous year.

The collaborative efforts of Japanese companies, including the development of innovative mosquito repellents, the production of effective dengue vaccines, and the provision of early detection tools, demonstrate a concerted global response to combat the growing threat of dengue fever. These initiatives aim to protect vulnerable populations, particularly in Southeast Asia and South America, where the disease has been spreading rapidly due to factors such as climate change, urbanization, and increased human activity.

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