5 Crucial Diagnostic Tests For Monsoon-Related Ailments

Monsoon-Related Ailments

Amidst the refreshing downpour that offers relief from the sweltering heat, it also invites many infections to thrive. The moisture-laden air with heightened humidity creates a fertile breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, enabling them to multiply rapidly, consequently leading to a myriad of illnesses. One prevalent ailment that arises during this season is monsoon fever. However, caution must be exercised, as these monsoon fevers may indicate a range of diseases, from viral infections to dengue, malaria, or even typhoid.
A range of fever profile blood tests are available to diagnose and treat monsoon fevers effectively. Your healthcare professional can use these diagnostic tests for fever to accurately determine the root cause and provide suitable treatment.

Here is the list of the most common tropical fever panel tests to be aware of:

1. Dengue Fever NS1 Antigen

Purpose: To diagnose Dengue infection
Sample type: Blood
Interpretation: A positive result for Dengue NS1 antigen indicates an infection with the dengue virus.

Dengue fever is a high-grade fever accompanied by severe joint pain, backache, dizziness, and chills. Dengue fever has different types, some of which can be life-threatening if not adequately addressed. Specifically, if left untreated, the infection can progress to more severe forms, such as Dengue hemorrhagic fever or Dengue shock syndrome.

To aid in the early diagnosis of dengue infection, the Dengue NS1 Antigen test targets a specific component called non-structural protein 1 (NS1), produced by the dengue virus. This protein is released into the bloodstream during the initial stages of dengue infection and can be detected within the first 7 days of experiencing symptoms. This diagnostic test for fever is critical in initiating timely treatment for dengue infection by enabling early detection.

Timely detection of complications can greatly improve outcomes.
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2. Malaria Antigen Test

Purpose: To diagnose malaria by assessing the concentration of Malarial Antigen in the bloodstream.
Sample type: Blood
Interpretation: A positive result confirms parasite infection, while a negative result suggests no infection.

Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted through mosquito bites caused by the Plasmodium parasite. P. falciparum infections are associated with cerebral malaria and drug resistance, while P. vivax infection has a high rate of infectivity and relapse.

It leads to symptoms such as severe chills, shivering, headaches, and body pain. It can also be life-threatening, potentially resulting in complications like brain damage, breathing problems, organ failure, or low blood sugar.

The Malarial Antigen test identifies malaria antigens in a blood sample.

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3. Widal Test

Purpose: To diagnose Typhoid
Sample type: Blood
Interpretation: This test detects antibodies against Salmonella, typhoid-causing bacteria in the blood. If antibodies are present, they cause clumping when reacting with corresponding antigens on the test slide.

Typhoid is a bacterial infection that can spread to various organs in the body, emphasizing the need for early treatment to prevent complications. Typhoid fever, which requires hospitalization and treatment, persists despite oral medication.

The Widal Test (Slide Agglutination) detects enteric fever from consuming food or water contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, including typhoid and paratyphoid fever. Symptoms of this condition include high fever, malaise, headache, constipation or diarrhea, rose-colored spots on the chest, and enlargement of the spleen and liver.

For accurate results, it is advisable to perform the test after a week or two from the onset of symptoms.

Ensure early detection. Book your Widal Test now!

4. Chikungunya IgM Test

Purpose: To diagnose Chikungunya
Sample type: Blood
Interpretation: This test examines IgM antibodies produced against the Chikungunya virus.

Chikungunya is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes, with symptoms including fever, joint pain, rashes, and headache.

The Chikungunya IgM Antibodies test detects the presence of IgM antibodies produced in response to a recent Chikungunya viral infection (within 5 days). An IgG antibodies test should follow a positive IgM test after 5-6 days to confirm the recent infection.

Some symptoms of Chikungunya overlap with those of Dengue and Zika virus.
Don’t leave room for doubts. Get tested for Chikungunya and confirm your diagnosis!

5. Viral Flu Panel

Purpose: To diagnose influenza A and its subtypes H3N2 and H1N1 (swine flu), influenza B virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Sample type: Nasal and throat swab
Interpretation: A positive test result means you may have the flu.

The Qualitative RT-PCR test detects respiratory viruses, including influenza A (including subtypes H3N2 and H1N1/swine flu), influenza B, and respiratory syncytial (RSV). These viruses are responsible for causing respiratory infections, commonly known as the flu. Symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, and low-grade fever indicate flu, although their onset may vary from 1 to 4 days after exposure.

Don’t delay. Get tested in time!

The difference between manageable and potentially life-threatening diseases lies in timely screening, diagnosis, and treatment. While some ailments can be easily cured, others have the potential to become fatal if not addressed promptly. Therefore, it is vital to prioritize early screening and diagnosis of diseases and take proactive measures against potential risks during the monsoon season to preserve our well-being.
With the added convenience of an at-home collection facility, you can avoid stepping out in heavy rains and experience the ease of getting fever tests done online in the comfort of your home.

(The article is written by Dr.Subita Alagh, Senior Executive, and reviewed by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor)


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