Tainan to use anti­gen test for early dengue di­ag­no­sis

The China Post - - LOCAL -

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.

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