Dr. Josephine Villafuerte presents a Dengue Rapid Diagnostic Test which can detect low platelet count in the blood in a minute of a person infected with dengue virus on Thursday, January 4. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

Davao City health officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte presents the Dengue Rapid Diagnostic Test which can detect low platelet count in minutes in a press conference on Thursday, January 4, 2017. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A diagnostic test kit able to detect low platelet counts in potential dengue victim’s blood within minutes is now available the city’s health centers this year, City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said in a press conference on Thursday, Jan. 4.

“If you go with traditional treatment, you will have to go to the hospital every day. Or if you get admitted, blood samples will be taken from you everyday until such time that they detect a low platelet count wherein you will fall into the clinical definition of being positive with dengue,” Villafuerte said in an interview with DavaoToday.

Villafuerte said the testing kit is not exactly new, since the kits have been in use since July 2016 in a limited fashion. The kits were only available in the city’s main health center then because of low stock. This year, however, the kits are already available in all barangay health centers citywide.

This kit however is not meant to replace the hospital equipment, but is only meant to give doctors an idea of a person’s possibility of acquiring the dengue virus.

“Your blood will still be tested in the hospital,” Villafuerte said.

A patient who has undergone check up with a doctor can then be given a referral to avail of the kits in the nearest health center.

This faster method of detecting dengue can help diagnosis of the virus at an earlier stage, decreasing likelihood of death, Villafuerte said.

This comes as the City Health Office launched its year round program against all mosquito related sickness such as dengue, malaria, filaria, and zika viruses for 2017.

Almost 4,000 cases

According to CHO’s record, there were 3,972 recorded dengue cases last year, 335 more than that of 2015. CHO also recorded 29 dengue related deaths, 21 more than 2015.

Read: Mayor warns heads to roll if dengue case will not decrease

The same record also shows that within the city, Buhangin District recorded the highest number of cases with 620, followed by Talomo South District with 553 while Paquibato recorded the lowest with 12 cases.

According to the City Information Office, CHO has already provided larvacides to Buhangin and Talomo South District as part of its efforts to reduce dengue cases. Larvacides are chemicals designed to prevent mosquito larvae from developing into adult mosquitoes.

“Dengue as a sickness will always be there, we cannot make it disappear completely because we cannot kill all mosquitoes. We can only decrease their numbers by depriving them of breeding sites,” Villafuerte said.(davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus