The number of deaths in the country this year till November 15 due to dengue has touched 216, with Tamil Nadu topping the list with the death of 60 people.

It is followed by Maharashtra 59, Karnataka 21, Punjab 15, Kerala 13, West Bengal 9, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh 6 each and Delhi 4. A total of 35,066 cases were reported in the country till mid-November.

Stating this in the Lok Sabha on Friday while replying to a calling-attention motion on the spreading of dengue and chikungunya, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said a vaccine for dengue was being developed by French company Sanofi Pasteur. He hoped that its world-wide trials would be successful.“Phase III of the trial is on in the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Latin America. In India, trials are taking place in Ludhiana, Kolkata and Delhi. If it passes, the day is not far when we will get it,” he said.

“Chikungunya is a debilitating illness, also caused by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Unlike dengue, chikungunya is non-fatal. The reasons for their outbreak are the same. The total number of suspected chikungunya cases has declined. In 2012, up to mid-November, the total number of reported suspected cases has been 14,227.”

As on date, there was no vaccine or drug available for prevention of dengue and chikungunya. Treatment for both was mainly symptomatic. In severe cases of dengue, blood/ platelet transfusion might be required.

Mr. Azad, who said he himself was affected with dengue in 2003, added that the problem was not limited to India. Five crore people were affected worldwide.