Symptoms of the serious viral dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever can now be diagnosed by a test which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved.
The DENV Detect IgM Capture ELISA test, developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] and manufactured by Inbios Inc., of Seattle, identifies dengue antibodies in the blood.
More than100 million people are infected each year all over the world, with the virus, caused by the bite of female mosquito 'Aedes Aegypti', according to the FDA. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, pain in the joints, muscles and bones, rash, and easy bleeding and bruising.
Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics Device Evaluation and Safety in FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health says, "Cases of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever can be potentially fatal for people who do not recognize the symptoms." The test should not be used in people who do not have any symptoms of dengue fever.
A disease of the tropics and sub-tropics, it has governments and health organizations on high alert to prevent an epidemic outbreak. Countries like Pakistan and Barbados are taking complete preventive measures. People travelling from Latin America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia have taken the disease along with them into the US.
Preventing an epidemic is of primary concern, and as there are no vaccines, a test like this becomes important. "This test will now aid health care professionals in their effort to more effectively diagnose dengue, "says Gutierrez.