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Posted at: Oct 11, 2018, 2:08 AM; last updated: Oct 11, 2018, 2:08 AM (IST)

Private labs confirming dengue without Elisa test

Private labs confirming dengue without Elisa test
A health official sprays larvicide in a dengue-affected area in Patiala. Rajesh Sachar

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, October 10

Cashing in on seasonal fevers, most of the private laboratories in the city are falsely confirming dengue by conducting preliminary screening tests, which is not a confirmatory procedure. As per the World Health Organization guidelines, NS1 Elisa and IgM Elisa are the only recognised pathological tests to detect the dengue virus. 

Experts said private practitioners were referring people for dengue tests without proper examination, resulting in a huge rush at private labs. Gurpreet Dhaliwal, a resident, said, “My worker tested positive for dengue at a private lab, but later it was proved wrong at another lab. These labs are just minting money.”

As per the health department, over 200 suspected cases of dengue are reported daily. Of total 2,475 cases reported till Wednesday, 975 patients have been tested positive.

Moreover, NS1 Elisa and IgM Elisa tests are conducted free of cost at government-run hospitals. Long queues of patients can be witnessed at Sentinal Surveillance Centre at Government Rajindra Hospital and Government Mata Kaushalya Hospital, the only government-run testing labs in the district. But some private laboratories are charging patients anywhere between Rs 800 and Rs 1,200 for these tests. Civil Surgeon Dr Manjit, “Every private hospital and clinic is required to intimate the Health Department about any suspected case and send sample to Rajindra Hospital for testing.” 

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