The Importance of Taking a Dengue Test

    The Importance of Taking a Dengue Test

    Dengue fever is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease in the world and has been included in the top 10 global health threats by the World Health Organisation (WHO).¹ It’s important to be aware of the common symptoms of dengue so that a dengue test can be taken as soon as possible, enabling you to take the next needed steps to ensure your good health and that of your family.

    Brief overview of dengue

    Common in countries with warm, tropical climates, dengue is a viral disease spread mainly by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which act as vectors for the disease. This condition is classified by the WHO as dengue (with or without mild to moderate symptoms) and severe dengue (also known as dengue haemorrhagic fever presenting with severe symptoms).² An Aedes mosquito will transmit the virus only if it bites a person already infected with it, and then bites another.

    The symptoms of dengue usually show 4-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. By being aware of the common signs of dengue, you can get tested easily and rapidly using a dengue test.

    Benefits of testing for dengue early

    Because the symptoms of dengue and other diseases like the flu can be so similar, early testing can help confirm what the infection is so that the condition can be managed properly and without delay. This can help prevent progression to severe dengue, which can be dangerous.

    Being able to confirm a dengue diagnosis also means that close monitoring of the symptoms and follow-up checks can be conducted. This is important given that there is no treatment for dengue and recovery depends on factors such as ensuring adequate rest and hydration.

    Healthcare providers can also advise on ways to limit the transmission of the disease. For example, if a member of the family is diagnosed early with dengue, you can take immediate steps to prevent other family members from getting infected including using mosquito repellent and cleaning the surroundings.

    Rapid dengue test

    Rapid testing for dengue is available and administered by healthcare professionals. It is not a test that can be done at home as it requires medically-trained personnel to draw blood. These tests provide results in as little as 15-20 minutes, unlike the more traditional dengue tests which may require a wait of at least one to two days for results to be available.

    Using a rapid dengue test means that proper management of the infection can start earlier, increasing the likelihood of a full recovery and prevention of severe dengue symptoms.

    The bane of reinfection

    There are four types of closely related dengue viruses, or serotypes. Recovery from infection by a serotype provides lifelong immunity against that particular serotype, but not to others. In fact, subsequent infection by other serotypes could result in severe dengue.² Preventing reinfection can be done by taking measures such as using mosquito nets or not going out at times of day when the dengue mosquito is active. If reinfection does occur, being able to diagnose it early using a dengue test can help prevent severe dengue.

    Testing for dengue, including rapid tests, plays an important role in the fight against this disease. If you or a family member are showing symptoms of dengue such as those listed in this article, don’t delay getting a dengue test. This is for your own peace of mind and to ensure timely and appropriate management of the condition.

    हैलो हेल्थ ग्रुप हेल्थ सलाह, निदान और इलाज इत्यादि सेवाएं नहीं देता।

    सूत्र

    1. World Mosquito Program/ Monash University, Melbourne. Dengue. Accessed on 29 April, 2022 from https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org/en/learn/mosquito-borne-diseases/dengue

    2. World Health Organization. Dengue and severe dengue. Accessed on 29 April, 2022 from https://www.who.int/health-topics/dengue-and-severe-dengue#tab=tab_1

    3. CDC. Dengue Symptoms and Treatment. Accessed on 26 September 202 from https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/symptoms/index.html

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