Blood test first for suspected dengue patients

SINGAPORE - When someone arrives at the hospital with symptoms pointing to dengue, a blood test will be carried out.

Low levels of platelets are associated with the mosquito-borne disease. But only those in a serious condition are warded - currently about one in four.

At Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), patients are warded if their platelet count falls and there is bleeding and dehydration.

Changi General Hospital said young children and elderly people with underlying health ailments are also warded.

Both hospitals say many dengue cases are mild and can be managed on an outpatient basis. But if the presence of dengue is unclear, patients are given follow-up appointments, said the KTPH spokesman.

"The diagnosis of dengue infection can be challenging in the first two to five days of the patient developing a fever," she said, adding that symptoms tend to fully manifest only much later.


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