NEW DELHI: With the number of dengue cases rising to 831 in Delhi, health department and civic officials have said many private hospitals and pathological labs are using test method which in most cases do not give reliable results and asked people to choose the most reliable diagnostic test.
Of the two types of antigen test kit -- NS1 Elisa and NS1 rapid antigen test, the former is reliable but the later which is being used in most private facilities is questionable, they said.
"With people panicking, private hospitals are luring them with quick diagnostic of dengue using rapid dengue antigen test or on-the-spot test which gives result in an hour.
"Elisa method for detection of dengue infection is sensitive, specific and reliable while NS1 test sometimes gives false result which in turn may lead to inaccurate treatment. NS1 rapid test in some hospitals is also costlier than Elisa," said a senior health department official.
According to municipal corporation officials, there is a panic among people which private establishments are using to cash in on by offering faster diagnostics even though it is unreliable.
"Whosoever contracts fever, thinks it to be dengue and rushes to get the tests done. They also want to know the results at the earliest. Private hospitals are cashing in on this rush by offering faster diagnostics even though it is unreliable.
"In Elisa method, it takes six to seven hours for the results to come out. As per the guidelines of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), NS1 Elisa test is considered reliable for confirmation of dengue infection," the official said.
The Union Health Ministry is providing IgM ELISA kits to all the 33 sentinel surveillance hospitals and one diagnostic centre designated by Delhi Government in the national capital where one can undergo free tests for detection of dengue.
Delhi has reported 831 dengue cases till August 29.