A case presenting diagnostic difficulties : making sense of flavivirus serology in the Top End of the Northern Territory

Mein, Jacki, O'Grady, Kerry-Ann, Whelan, Peter, & Merianos, Angela (1998) A case presenting diagnostic difficulties : making sense of flavivirus serology in the Top End of the Northern Territory. The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin, 5(2), pp. 11-13.

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In early April 1998 the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Darwin was notified of a case with positive dengue serology. The illness appeared to have been acquired in the Northern Territory (NT). Because dengue is not endemic to the NT, locally acquired infection has significant public health implications, particularly for vector identification and control to limit the spread of infection. Dengue IgM serology was positive on two occasions but the illness was eventually presumptively identified as Kokobera infection. This case illustrates some important points about serology. The interpretation of flavivirus serology is complex and can be misleading, despite recent improvements. The best method of determining the cause of infection is still attempting to reconcile clinical illness details with incubation times and vector presence, as well as laboratory results. This approach ultimately justified the initial period of waiting for confirmatory results in this case, before the institution of public health measures necessary for a true case of dengue.

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ID Code: 64735
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: flavivirus, diagnosis, Northern Territory
ISSN: 1440-883X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 24 Nov 2013 23:16
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2013 23:16

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