When is The Right Time to Get Tested ? Expert Answers

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As there has been a sudden rise in the cases of dengue, It is important to detect the virus without any delay. Expert reveals when is the right time to get tested and be cautious of this severe infection.

Dengue Outbreak: When is The Right Time to Get Tested ? Expert Answers
Dengue Outbreak: When is The Right Time to Get Tested ? Expert Answers

Dengue has become a major health concern currently all over India. Transmitted by mosquitoes, this infectious disease has been affecting millions of people. Dengue usually spreads from the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and is more common in tropical and subtropical climates. The signs and symptoms of dengue can be quite alarming, and one must be watchful to prevent the occurrence of contagious infection.

Signs And Symptoms of Dengue

The most common symptoms is high fever, typically lasting for about a week. Another symptom is the excruciating joint and muscle pain that results in fatigue. Other signs include severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, and rash. Dengue can cause platelet levels to drop dramatically, leading to bleeding issues such as nosebleeds or gum bleeding.

While these symptoms may be easy to dismiss initially, they should not be ignored because they could indicate serious complications associated with dengue hemorrhagic fever that is a potentially life-threatening condition. It’s important to note that not everyone infected with the dengue virus will experience all these symptoms, some patients may only have mild flu-like symptoms while others progress into more serious illness. Remember that early detection and treatment significantly increase your chances of recovery from this mosquito-borne disease.

When is The Right Time to Get Tested For Dengue Fever?

Dr Harish Chafle, Consultant Intensivist, and Chest Physician, Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, spoke to India.com and recommended the suitable tests required for detecting dengue. He said, “The most commonly used test is the NS1 antigen test, which can detect the presence of dengue virus within a period of 1-9 days after the onset of symptoms. This test works by detecting a protein called NS1 that is produced by the virus. Another common test for dengue is the IgM antibody test, which detects antibodies produced by the immune system in response to a recent infection. This test is usually performed 5-7 days after the onset of symptoms and can provide valuable information about whether a person has had previous exposure to dengue.

Dr Chafle added, “In recent years, there have been advancements in molecular tests for dengue, such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. These tests can detect small amounts of viral genetic material and are highly sensitive and specific. Even blood tests and platelet count should be monitored carefully and regularly. So, a complete blood count (CBC) test will be beneficial for the patient.”

Knowing the right time to take a dengue test can make a significant difference in managing the disease effectively. Getting tested immediately after exposure may not give accurate results. Therefore, it is advisable to wait at least five days from the onset of symptoms before going for a dengue test. Consequently, taking a test too late may result in false negatives or inconclusive results since there might not be enough virus or antibodies present in the blood sample.

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