Tainan to use antigen test for early dengue diagnosis
Tainan City said Thursday it will introduce 5,000 paper-based dengue NS1 antigen test kits for early diagnosis of dengue fever, which has raged the southern Taiwan city with 2,381 confirmed cases so far this year.
The tests, which use a color change to indicate the positive presence of the dengue NS1 antigen, will be able to identify patients at an early stage and thus prevent the disease from spreading, said Lin Sheng-che, head of Tainan’s Department of Health.
The weather is “on the side of the mosquito,” Lin said, explaining that constant rain and humidity is favorable for vector breeding.
According to the department’s latest data Thursday, 30 out of the city’s 37 districts have reported dengue fever cases.
Dengue fever has claimed the lives of four people so far this year — all in Tainan. Most of whom were elderly and suffered from other chronic illnesses.
Health officials reminded people to keep their homes free of standing water and to make efforts to avoid mosquito bites.
Dengue fever is an infectious tropical disease spread by mosquitoes. The symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and skin rash. In a small proportion of cases, the disease can develop into hemorrhagic dengue fever, which can be fatal.