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Prevalence of Patients with Acute Febrile Illnesses and Positive Dengue NS1 Tests in a Tertiary Hospital in Papua New Guinea

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  • Pathology Laboratory, Port Moresby General Hospital, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Central Public Health Laboratory, Port Moresby General Hospital, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; James Cook University, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, Australia; John Hunter Hospital, New Castle, New South Wales, Australia; Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea
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Because the prevalence of dengue fever in urban settings in Papua New Guinea is unknown, we investigated the presence of dengue using the NS1 antigen test in an outpatient-based prospective observational study at Port Moresby General Hospital. Of 140 patients with acute febrile illnesses, dengue fever was diagnosed in 14.9% (20 of 134; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 9.6–22.4). Malaria (2 of 137; 1.5%; 95% CI = 0.3–5.7), chikungunya (3 of 140; 2.1%; 95% CI = 0.6–6.6), and bacterial bloodstream infections (0 of 80; 0%; 95% CI = 0–5.7) were uncommon. Dengue fever should no longer be considered rare in Papua New Guinea.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Moses Laman, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, PO Box 378, Madang, Papua New Guinea. E-mail: drmlaman@yahoo.com

Authors' addresses: Viola Asigau, Pathology Laboratory, Port Moresby General Hospital, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, and School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, E-mail: viola_asigau@hotmail.com. Evelyn K. Lavu and Eric Biloh, Central Public Health Laboratory, Port Moresby General Hospital, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, E-mails: lavuek@gmail.com and bmakuri@gmail.com. William J. H. McBride, James Cook University, School of Medicine and Dentistry, Cairns Base Hospital, Cairns, Australia, E-mail: john.mcbride@jcu.edu.au. Francis Naroi and Egi Koana, Pathology Laboratory, Port Moresby General Hospital, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, E-mails: francis.naroi@gmail.com and egi.koana@gmail.com. John K. Ferguson, John Hunter Hospital, New Castle, New South Wales, Australia, E-mail: john.ferguson@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au. Moses Laman, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Madang, Papua New Guinea, E-mail: drmlaman@yahoo.com.

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