Patients suspected of contracting dengue fever will no longer have to wait a day to know their test results, as health authorities have imported new batches of rapid test kits to be distributed across medical facilities in southern Taiwan, reports said Tuesday.
Similar in appearance to a pregnancy tester, the dengue analyzer uses only a single drop of blood sample taken from a suspected patient, and test results will be shown anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes.
According to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (TCDC), health authorities in Kaohsiung and Tainan will each receive 1,500 testers to be distributed amongst hospitals in their respective areas.
As dengue fever continues to pose a threat to southern Taiwan, the number of locally acquired dengue fever cases have doubled in one week as the island reported 343 new cases during the week ending August 10. The total locally acquired cases in Taiwan now stands at 775, and 673 since May.
Among the indigenous cases reported from August 4 to 10, 313 were confirmed in Tainan City, 24 were confirmed in Kaohsiung City, four in Pingtung County, and one each for New Taipei City and Chiayi County respectively.
The number of newly confirmed cases reported in Tainan during that period was 3.1 times more than that reported two weeks earlier, according to the TCDC. In comparison to Tainan, Kaohsiung suffered 2.4 times more.
Earlier this month, the island witnessed its first dengue fever casualty in a 73-year-old man in Tainan.
Health officials had warned that dengue fever may increase in the aftermath of heavy rains brought by Typhoon Soudelor over a week ago. With the possible impact of Typhoon Goni over the weekend, authorities again warned the public to keep their living quarters clean following the aftermath of the storm in a bid to prevent the epidemic from spreading.