Why an early diagnosis of dengue is essential
India is believed to be the Dengue capital of the world with the most recorded cases of the disease. The monsoon season further increases its incidence owing to the innumerable potholes where water gets collected. This stagnant water acts as ideal breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquitoes, the vector responsible for spreading the illness. According to a recent report, over 58 lakh Indians are diagnosed with Dengue each year, a figure 282 times greater than the officially recorded number of 20,000 annual cases.
However what most people are not aware of is that most dengue cases are preventable and manageable.
According to Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA, “Dengue should be diagnosed early as the patient has maximum viremia during early phase with more infectivity. The test to be done is NS1 antigen and not IgM. NS1 is positive in less than 5 days and the IgM becomes positive after 5 days. The government of India provides the IgG and IgM kits free of cost. However, they do not provide NS1 kits, the procurement of which is the responsibility of the individual States. IMA feels that the priority of the government should be to provide NS1 kits and not IgM kits.”
Also all cases of severe dengue with rapid test positive for NS1 or IgM should be notified as dengue cases. Currently the government requires ELISA test as the criteria.