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Health Agencies Update
July 25, 2012

Rapid Dengue Test

JAMA. 2012;308(4):331. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.8756

A new test for the dengue virus may help public health laboratories identify infected individuals more rapidly, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which developed the test.

Thousands of cases of dengue are reported in the United States each year, primarily in individuals who have traveled to regions of the world where the virus is endemic. Patients infected with the virus may develop a high fever, severe headache, and pain. Some may develop life-threatening hemorrhage and shock. Public health laboratories currently test for certain antibodies. But patients may not develop such antibodies until 4 to 7 days after they become ill, so the test may not identify the infection during its early stages, when treatment can be most effective.