Health October 21, 2023 | 10:00 am

Laboratories with high demand for dengue

Private laboratories have experienced a high demand for testing due to dengue.NPSTOCKPHOTO - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

Santo Domingo, RD

After the violent boom of dengue fever in Dominican territory, with more than 12,000 reports since its beginning and 11 human losses so far this year, private laboratories, such as “Referencia”, have had a high demand of patients who come to these centers for laboratory tests to determine whether or not they have the viral disease.

LISTÍN DIARIO, during a tour made yesterday, verified the increase of this type of test when visiting two branches of ‘Referencia Laboratorio Clínico,’ one located on Francia Avenue, on the corner of Rosa Duarte Street and the other on Ortega y Gasset Avenue.

A customer service staff of the latter branch told this newspaper that the test to detect dengue is called NS1, while the one for antibodies consists of other types of tests called “Dengue IgG and InG.”

“There is an increase in dengue testing,” the employee stated while explaining, “Doctors monitor the disease with the hemogram, which measures the level of platelets.”

These clinical analyses are usually completed within a maximum period of 24 hours, according to the person consulted.

At the branch on Francia Avenue, the customer service staff also assured the increase of these laboratory tests: “Yes, there has been an increase,” they indicated.

This newspaper consulted a specialist on the subject, who explained that after questioning a patient with suspected dengue, they are sent for laboratory or complementary tests, such as hemogram or abdominal tomography, since, based on the results, the patient may or may not be diagnosed with the disease.

“In the hemogram we see white blood cells and platelets. The hemogram describes other things, but for dengue cases that is the most important thing,” said the physician, who preferred anonymity.

Regarding the CT scan, he said, “It is to see internal organs, but especially the liver, because dengue affects the liver.”

The expert also referred to the IgM test since it can indicate whether the patient has dengue or not.

“In case it is positive, it indicates the phase in which the patient is. But, it is not recommended to do it on the first day of symptoms, because nothing comes out, only the hemogram,” he explained.

The high demand for tests on this disease, which is transmitted by mosquito bites of the Aedes aegypti species, has been similar in some hospital laboratories in the capital.

For example, the Hospital Materno Infantil Santo Socorro has registered “a packet” of laboratory tests, as stated to this newspaper by a medical staff member in the Sample Collection department.

Meanwhile, at the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital, the situation has been similar after the high attendance of suspicious patients. Estefania Cruz admitted her four-year-old niece to the emergency area of this health center for presenting symptoms of dengue fever since last Wednesday 18.

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