The Dengue NS1 Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) is not like home pregnancy test kits that can be used to determine dengue infection by anyone.

When dengue is suspected, the best course of action is to go to a health facility and undergo the proper procedure to determine if there is indeed infection, Health officials underscored.

“There is a need to do assessment and examination before a test can be done. We need trained professionals to do it so that it is properly done, and to prevent infections and false negatives,” Secretary of Health Paulyn Ubial was quoted by Malaya as saying.

In December last year, Administrative Order No. 2016-0043, or the Guidelines for the National Implementation of Dengue Rapid Diagnostic Test RDT, was signed as a means to improve on early case detection for dengue and diagnosis.

The RDT requires a prick-drop-wait procedure. It contains a finger lancet to draw blood. It displays results after 15 minutes. Similar to a pregnancy test, two lines mean positive results.

“Qualitative detection of NS1, released with high concentration in human serum during the acute phase of dengue infection, may help predict the risk associated with the disease. Thus, this NS1 test is relevant during the acute or early phase of infection. Seeking early consultation will substantiate the result of the dengue NS1 RDT,” the DOH said in a statement, furnished to MIMS.

Likewise, a nationwide orientation was done on the use of RDT’s, as well as a capacity building event in cooperation with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for healthcare workers.

RDT kits have been distributed in health units and regional health units nationwide. Using this kit requires the help of medical professionals, according to Secretary Ubial.

Nationwide dengue cases recorded from January 1 to May 20 totaled 35,973, which is 31.8 percent lower compared to the cases reported during the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, the DOH emphasized that early case detection, diagnosis and correct fluid management are significant factors in reducing morbidity and mortality from dengue. MIMS

Read more:

Rainy season in PH brings 'WILD'
Stronger community effort necessary to defeat dengue in ASEAN
PH: LGU launches 5-minute anti-dengue habit drive