Dengue cases found positive through rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) will not be considered as a confirmed case, a Health Ministry notification said on Monday. This type of testing, which is widely done in Chandigarh, is a “quick and easy” method for diagnostic centres to check if a patient is dengue positive.
A recent notification issued by the Union Health Ministry reads, “A patient can be declared positive for dengue only on the basis of Elisa technique of testing and not by RDT. A patient can only be declared as a probable case of dengue on the basis of RDT technique.”
According to UT health officials, notices are being sent to the city hospitals and all private diagnostic laboratories in this regard.
“We are sending notices to all labs and government hospitals i the city to inform them that cases found positive through RDTs will not be treated positive,” said Dr Gaurav Aggarwal, Anti-Malaria Officer of the Chandigarh health department. “They will be informed that the cases will be considered as probable and they will have to confirm by other methods,” he added.
Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) is one of the diagnosis to detect evidence of dengue parasites in human blood. One of the health officials said that there is less sensitivity and specificity in these tests. Currently, 650 rupees are being charged to perform this test in the city.
Sources in the health department said that recently, several cases were found positive in Chandigarh when they were tested through RDTs, which were later found negative.
“It is going to help for sure in proper testing,” said an official. “We will get the notice implemented across the city very soon.”
A health official informed that they might also direct the labs in the city to declare cases positive, done through RDTs once they get clearance from the UT health department.
“It is under proposal. We are discussing it,” said the official.