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Dengue Fever

Hot Topic Q&A is an opportunity for viewers to submit questions to the Hot Topic presenter. The opportunity to submit questions for this topic is now closed.

The following questions were submitted by viewers and answered by the presenter,
D. Jane Hata, PhD, D(ABMM), Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic Florida. 

Questions are presented as submitted (unedited).

  1. Can patients still show/develop symptoms 2 to 3 weeks after infection?

    The incubation period of the dengue virus is from 4 to 21 days in the human host. Most individuals will start to show symptoms within a week of exposure (eg, bite from an infected mosquito). If a person has acquired a dengue infection, the incubation period will be followed by 3 to 4 days of fever. After defervescence, systemic symptoms can continue for an additional 2 to 7 days. The length of time in which symptoms are apparent depends on the severity of disease (Dengue Fever versus Severe Dengue), and the immune status of the host.

  2. Are there specific Mayo Medical Laboratories tests that client physicians can order when diagnosing this test? When I search for Dengue Fever in the test catalogue, I am directed to a test that is sent to Focus Diagnostics.

    At this time a dengue test is not available through Mayo Medical Laboratories. Testing is currently referred to Focus Diagnostics. However, the Infectious Disease Serology laboratory is in the process of evaluating several commercial serology tests for dengue fever and the virology lab is considering molecular tests. There will be more information on this effort as we evaluate the possibilities.