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Solomons Dengue Diagnoses Dependent on Rapid Testing Kits

A top health official in Solomon Islands says the authorities have ordered more testing kits for a dengue fever outbreak that has killed one person in the capital, Honiara.

A state of emergency is in place at the national referral hospital to enable staff to defer all non-emergency patients in favour of those with the mosquito-borne illness.

The ministry of health’s permanent secretary says it is the first time there has been such a large scale outbreak in Solomon Islands and there are at least 169 people known to have the illness.

Dr Lester Ross says the ability to diagnose further cases depends on the availability of rapid diagnostic testing.

“With the limited number of RDT we have we are not doing RDT on every single case of fever. There are some warning signs like people with some abnormal bleeding or severe abdominal cramp or dehydrated or vomited - these are the cases they do the rapid diagnostic test.”

Dr Lester Ross says at the moment, Solomon Islands has about 500 rapid diagnostic tests.

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