TT, Siliguri, Aug. 3: The chief medical officer of health of Darjeeling district today instructed representatives of all 80 private nursing homes in the district to only divulge reports of Mac Eliza tests of patients suspected to be suffering from dengue and not results of “rapid tests” which sometimes were incorrect.
According to Asit Biswas, there are three government diagnostic centres in the district – North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, Siliguri district hospital and Darjeeling district hospital – where Mac Eliza tests are conducted.
He said private nursing homes should send samples of suspected dengue patients there for tests.
“The World Health Organisation only recognises Mac Eliza-based tests for dengue and not the rapid tests. This is because the rapid tests have a tendency to give false positive results. So, we have instructed the representatives of the nursing homes not to divulge the reports of rapid tests that they conduct on patients and their relatives as this will cause unnecessary panic,” said Biswas.
“NBMCH and the district hospitals in Siliguri and Darjeeling have the diagnostic centres that conduct Mac-Eliza test and all samples should be sent there for examination. The nursing homes should divulge only the reports of the Mac Eliza to their patients and their relatives,” he added.
Biswas was speaking at a meeting with representatives of private nursing homes, health officials of Siliguri Municipal Corporation and NBMCH officials to discuss preventive measures of the disease and mechanism of diagnosis.
Health officials said Mac Eliza test was more authentic and gave confirmation of the disease. The “rapid tests” just indicate that someone is afflicted with dengue.
Siliguri mayor Asok Bhattacharya today said four persons, including two minors, had been detected with dengue. “They were diagnosed with dengue between July 21 and 26. But all of them have recovered,” he told the media.
“I will hold a meeting with the health officials, health workers and councillors of the SMC on Friday and take necessary measures to prevent further spread of the disease. Apart from that, I will personally visit different schools to check whether the management of the respective institutions is taking preventive measures,” the mayor added.