Diagnostic Test Approved for Dengue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received approval from the FDA for a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of dengue virus in people with symptoms of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever. The test, called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, can be performed using equipment and supplies many public health laboratories already use to run  influenza Real-Time PCR assays.

The new test will help diagnose dengue within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to see a health care professional and the dengue virus is likely to be present in their blood. The test can identify all four dengue virus types. It is the first FDA-approved molecular test for dengue that detects evidence of the virus itself.

Dengue is caused by any of the four virus types, which are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Travelers returning from Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean are most at risk for contracting dengue. Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, mild bleeding involving mucous membranes, and easy bruising. There are no FDA-licensed vaccines available for this illness.

Diagnostic kits will be available for distribution beginning July 2, 2012.

For more information call (800) 232-4636 or visit www.cdc.gov/Dengue.