With a high incidence rate, the dengue has been reported from across the country since it was first reported in 1962. Now Sri Lanka experiences outbreaks of dengue with many unfortunate deaths every week.
A person infected by the dengue virus develops severe flu-like symptoms & these symptoms of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient.
Individuals should suspect dengue when a high fever (40°C/ 104°F) is accompanied by the following symptoms: Severe headache, Pain behind the eyes, Muscle and joint pains, Nausea, Vomiting & Rash.
Dengue can be detected on day 1 of the fever by a test called NS-1 antigen test.
With a blood sample you can obtain results by half an hour.
Dengue NS1(on-structural protein 1)
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antigen has been detected in the serum of dengue viral infected patients as early as 1 day post onset of symptoms (DPO), and up to around 9 DPO.
Many investigators have evaluated NS1 ELISA based antigen assay for sensitivity and specificity.
If you check your blood on the 1st day of fever for NS1, you can reliably diagnose dengue with a 100% accuracy.
On the 2nd day the accuracy falls to 85.9% & 3rd day 75%. After day 3, it is reliable only in 30%.
One problem here is, this test is not freely available in government hospitals & costs around Rs.1500-2000 in private labs. And also you won’t die just because you got infected with dengue. Only some people who get infected, go into severe form of dengue- dengue haemorrhagic fever/ shock.
But if you are diagnosed to having dengue, then at least you can go to a hospital or centre which has facilities to treat dengue patients.