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Friday, June 29, 2012
By Alyah Khan
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced its development of a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of the dengue virus.
HealthMap’s The Disease Daily explained that this new test differs from previous dengue tests because, “instead of detecting antibodies in response to the dengue virus, it can detect the virus itself.” The test is capable of detecting all four types of the dengue virus.
“The need for the new dengue diagnostic test was high,” Dr. Jorge L. Munoz-Jordan of the CDC Dengue Branch said.
The Food and Drug Administration authorized the test for use in the United States. The test can be performed using equipment and supplies public health laboratories already use to diagnose influenza, which is seen as a big advantage, as reported by Medical News Today.
According to the CDC, the new test will help diagnose dengue within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to seek medical attention. Vaccine News Daily added that, “ The molecular test for dengue is the first of its kind that detects evidence of the virus, as opposed to those that look for a certain type of dengue antibody. Although most dengue patients develop the antibodies four days after the onset of the illness, some do not until after seven days, giving the new test a distinct advantage.”
Munoz-Jordan explained that, “Patients will be diagnosed sooner than before, and public health laboratories will have a clearer picture of the true number of dengue cases. Dengue is now a reportable disease in the United States, and the availability of state-of-the-art dengue diagnostics will improve patient management and the public health response to dengue.”
The CDC said testing kits will be available at the start of July.
For more information on the testing and diagnosis of dengue, visit the CDC’s page on clinical and laboratory guidance.