Dr Tyler Sharp

Hopes for rapid dengue fever testing in American Samoa

The territory is currently in the grip of an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness, and the only way the territory's health department can test patients is by sending blood samples to Hawaii once a week.

The head of the CDC team sent to American Samoa to assist with the outbreak, Dr Tyler Sharp, says the time from taking the sample to having a result can vary from a few days to more than a week.

He says that not every person suspected of having dengue needs to be tested, but the centre is obtaining a limited supply of rapid testing kits.