Shouldn't hospitals test for disease as soon as possible?

2nd dengue death

I refer to the report about the second dengue death in Singapore this year, "Should we worry?" (The New Paper).

I wonder why, after the first death, we could not do enough to prevent a second one.

The first victim who died had gone to a hospital, was diagnosed with a viral fever, put on a drip and then discharged.

It was reported that after two days, the fever worsened and he returned, waited for five hours at the hospital's emergency department and left to see a general practitioner.

Sadly, there seems to be a similar pattern in the case reported yesterday.

The second victim also went to a hospital with a fever, rashes and other symptoms, was given medication and told to return to a polyclinic for a blood test.

Two days later, his condition worsened. Then he was admitted, but succumbed to the disease.

When I read of the first case, many questions raced through my mind, and they remain unanswered even after the second.

As the number of dengue cases keeps going up and people of all ages islandwide seem to be at risk, shouldn't the hospitals be doing more?

Shouldn't they be testing for the disease as soon as someone comes in with a fever and other symptoms, instead of giving them some treatment and sending them home?

Patients shouldn't have to wait to be admitted until complications such as bleeding have set in when it may be too late to save them. Patients with a fever should also not have to wait for a long time in the accident and emergency department.

I have been to this department many times over the years and experienced long waits, but each case has to be assessed for how serious it is.

And now with so many different viruses around, I feel every case of fever must be taken seriously to ensure that more lives aren't lost.

Rosalind David