Dengue Tests: How to detect dengue fever

How to detect dengue fever

Dengue fever may be caused by small mosquitos, but its effects are anything but mild. Dengue fever can be very harsh on people, deteriorating anyone’s health manifold. Extremely severe cases of dengue fever can affect the patients in life-threatening ways such as damaging the blood vessel. Hence it is very important to detect dengue fever at an early stage so that extensive damage to health can be prevented. 

The test for diagnosing a patient with dengue fever includes analyzing factors such as recent travel history. Once the doctor suspects the chances of the patient having dengue fever, a blood test is recommended. The procedure for the blood test is very easy. The blood is drawn from the veins of the arms and sent to a testing centre. This dengue test does not have any side effects; hence anyone can take them without hesitation.

A person might need a dengue test if they experience the following symptoms:

  • Sudden high fever(about 103 degrees or more)
  • Face rashes
  • Severe pain in head, joints, or muscles
  • Fatigue accompanied by nausea
  • Vomiting

Medical health should be called upon immediately if any of the following symptoms are experienced:

  • Bleeding nose or gums
  • Internal bleeding just below the skin
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Breathing difficulties along with restlessness

Here are a few tests that might be recommended to a person suspected of having dengue fever:

1. NS1 antigen test for dengue fever

  • The NS1 antigen test is a blood test to diagnose dengue when it is still in the early stage. 
  • For accurate test results, it is advised to get the NS1 antigen test within 5 to 6 days of experiencing the indicatory symptoms for dengue fever. This is because once the infection resides for a longer period, the chances of getting an inaccurate test report become higher.
  • The best part about an NS1 antigen test is that the test reports come within a day itself. This mode of test to diagnose dengue fever is also less costly in contrast to the alternative ones in the medical field.

2. Immunoglobulin M (IgM) test for dengue fever 

  • Whenever our body senses a pathogen attack, it generates IgM antibodies to protect our immunity system. When infected with dengue fever, the IgM test helps the doctors to make the report more accurate since the difference between the primary and secondary infection is available.
  • For accurate test results, it is advised to get an IgM antibodies test within 7 to 10 days of experiencing the indicatory symptoms of dengue fever.  
  • The amount of time that an IgM test report takes to come depends upon the method of testing. It can be completed within half an hour to a day.

3. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) test for dengue fever

  • Similar to the IgM test, the IgG test for dengue fever is also based on analyzing the antibodies that our body generates in response to the infection. 
  • The major difference between IgM and IgG antibodies is that IgM antibodies are generated in the body in a short period, whereas IgG antibodies take some time to generate. This is why infected patients are advised to get the IgG test within 7 to 15 days of experiencing the symptoms.
  • The IgG test results for the detection of dengue fever take about 7 days to come out.

4. RNA PCR test for dengue fever

  • The RNA PCR test is considered to be one of the most effective tests to detect dengue fever. This test is also done at an early stage.
  • The test results of an RNA PCR test help the doctors identify the kind of dengue infection that the patient has. 
  • It is advised to get tested for RNA PCR if the symptoms of dengue fever last about five days. 
  • The results of the RNA PCR test are available within a day or two.

Limitations of the tests that detect dengue

  • NS1 antigen test: this mode of dengue test fails to differentiate among the different types of dengue that the patient might have.
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) test: this mode of dengue test fails if the patient has secondary dengue fever.
  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) test: this mode of dengue test is not effective for acute dengue infection.
  • RNA PCR test for dengue fever: not all laboratories perform this mode of dengue test

The worst part about having dengue fever is that there is no medication available to treat this condition. All the medications and care are to boost the immunity of the patient so that they can fight this deadly disease. Understandably, the condition of having dengue fever can feel terrifying. However, getting an early diagnosis through the tests helps in the process of recovery. Good care, professional treatment, and effective immunity boosters can help anyone with a speedy recovery.

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