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HEALTH

Denmark develops first-ever vaccine against chlamydia

Researchers in Denmark have taken a major step towards developing a vaccination against the country’s most common STD.

Denmark develops first-ever vaccine against chlamydia
Stock photo: voronin-76/Depositphotos

For the first time ever, human tests of a vaccine against chlamydia have proven successful, newspaper Politiken reports.

Medical research institute SSI (Statens Serum Institut), in partnership with London’s Imperial College, tested the Danish vaccine on 35 women in the UK. The preparation worked as intended in all cases.

SSI head of department Frank Follmann is to publish an article containing the results of the research in prestigious medical academic journal The Lancet.

“This is a huge breakthrough for us. We have worked on this for 15 years and the chlamydia field is yet to have produced a vaccine for clinical trial. So this is a major breakthrough for us,” Follmann said.

“This is the first step towards hopefully moving towards production of a vaccine,” he said.

A total of 33,415 cases of chlamydia infection were registered in Denmark in 2018, an average of 91 every day. The total has increased significantly since the 1990s.

Actual figures are considered to be twice as high, due to undetected cases.

131 million people globally are infected with the STD each year.

Henrik Westh, a professor at Hvidovre Hospital’s microbiology department and specialist in risks associated with undiagnosed chlamydia, called the potential new vaccine “fantastic”.

“My assessment is that it would prevent a large number of genital infections, ectopic pregnancies and infertility. It would save the state a lot of money on expensive fertility treatment, because more people would be able to get pregnant naturally,” Westh told Politiken.

The vaccine is not likely to be available to the general public for some time, however.

Follmann said he expected it to take at least five years for the vaccine to reach the market.

READ ALSO: Sexually transmitted diseases continue to spread in Denmark

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HEALTH

New Year’s Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries on New Year's Eve in Denmark has bounced back to normal levels, with 16 people treated for eye injuries after the celebrations.

New Year's Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark
Fireworks led to 16 eye injuries on New Year's Eve. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

This is up from the unusually low 12 people who were treated for eye injuries during and after the celebrations last year. Two of this year’s injuries are sufficiently severe that the injured are expected to lose their sight completely or partially.

“After a very quiet evening last year, it is back to a normal, average level,” Ulrik Correll Christensen, head doctor at the ophthalmology department at Rigshospitalet, told the country’s Ritzau newswire. “It is a completely extraordinary situation at the eye departments on New Year’s Eve. It is not at all something we see on a daily basis.” 

Christensen has tallied up reports from all of Denmark’s eye units, including the major ones in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Næstved. 

He said that 15 out of the 16 cases had not worn safety goggles, two thirds were between ten and thirty years old. 

“The most important thing is to follow the advice when firing fireworks. Wear safety goggles and keep a good distance,” he said. 

The number of ambulance call outs on New Year’s Eve is also back to normal, with 1,188 emergency vehicles sent out, compared to 875 last year. 

In the Capital Region of Copenhagen, there were 44 call-outs were related to fireworks, of which 16 were for hand injuries and 14 for eye injuries. 

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