Diagnosis delay with West Nile as labs remain behind - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Diagnosis delay with West Nile as labs remain behind

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Amarillo, TX- As West Nile cases continue to increase across the state, labs are becoming overloaded with specimens, delaying diagnoses.

Medical officials in our area are having to wait much longer than usual for results after performing a West Nile test because of a spike in the infection.

"A test that should take two days is taking up to ten at this point just because of the outbreak," said Connie Peña, a medical assistant at Any Lab Test Now.

"I am having to wait seven to ten days for a result to come back and that is frustrating because you really want to be able to tell someone what they are dealing with and you want to be able to explain to them why they have these symptoms," said Dr. Roger Smalligan.

As West Nile remains on the minds of panhandle residents, Dr. Smalligan says more tests for the infection are being done.

Peña says the biggest reason for the delay for results in our area is a high number of cases in North Texas.

"A lot of the testing goes to Irving and that is where a lot of the major outbreaks have been. So that is causing the delay in getting the test results back," added Peña.

The delays with testing won't necessarily impact the patients when it comes to treatment says Smalligan.

"Fortunately since we don't have a treatment that delay is not going to necessarily change the course of the disease I don't think, it is not going to necessarily change how we treat you part of that is kind of comfort in knowing what is wrong with you," added Smalligan.