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Domestic company's dengue fever test approved

By Li Wenfang in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-09 09:40

A test for the virus that causes dengue fever has been approved for use and is expected to help meet the high demand in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease in parts of China.

Using a blood sample, the nucleic acid reagent can test whether a person is infected by the virus.

It is made by DAAN Gene Co and is the first domestically developed product to be approved.

The company started developing the reagent last year and received the go-ahead on Sept 30, according to Huang Taosheng, a manager with the gene diagnosis division of the company.

The product went through emergency approval procedures at the China Food and Drug Administration and will help medical institutions with early screening and diagnosis, according to the Guangdong Food and Drug Administration.

Wang Guoqiang, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, said that the supervision system, patient management and laboratory testing needed to be improved to ensure early detection, diagnosis, reporting and treatment.

Wang toured Guangdong province on Monday and Tuesday to learn more about the dengue fever epidemic.

DAAN Gene's product has already been used at some large hospitals that have the necessary equipment, Huang said.

The company expects to see big demand for the product, as there are many dengue fever cases in Guangdong alone.

Guangdong has been hardest hit by the epidemic this year, with cases also reported in provinces such as Fujian and Yunnan, as well as the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Guangdong had recorded more than 24,000 dengue fever cases this year, compared with 2,894 cases last year, according to the provincial health and family planning commission. The provincial capital, Guangzhou, has seen about 85 percent of the cases, including five of the six deaths in the province.

Workers continue to spray pesticide and clean up potential breeding sites across Guangzhou, where posters and slogans to fight the disease are everywhere.

Community workers have visited households to distribute chemicals for killing mosquitoes, to spray pesticide and to help empty containers with standing water.

Schoolchildren and their parents were required to learn about the prevention of the disease during the National Day holiday.

Workplaces were advised to clean up their areas when work resumed on Wednesday after the weeklong holiday, with a hotline in place for reporting potential mosquito breeding sites.

Zhou Chutian contributed to this story.

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