Revalidation test negates MR reports in Odisha's Nabarangpur

As many as 18 samples were collected from two blocks where some children were found with fever and rashes on their bodies.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

BHUBANESWAR: The health administration is in a fix after two samples that were claimed to be positive for measles and rubella (MR) in Nabarangpur district reportedly turned out negative during a revalidation test.

Official sources said separate rapid action teams were sent to Tentulikhunti and Nandahandi blocks of the tribal-dominated district after WHO teams claimed that two children had tested positive. Of the five samples initially tested, one one-year-old boy had then tested positive for measles and rubella while another eight-year-old boy was found to be rubella positive. Another sample of a six-year-old girl was found to be equivocal for MR.

A senior official said the health directorate had rushed the teams to the villages based on the submission of the WHO team as surveillance in the MR affected area is of paramount importance as per the protocol. “But the samples have turned out to be negative during a revalidation test. This has created confusion. It is now suspected whether the initial reports were correct and if the tests were conducted following all protocols,” he said.

As many as 18 samples were collected from two blocks where some children were found with fever and rashes on their bodies. All these samples have tested negative for measles and rubella.

The health directorate has also sent a fresh team to Kandhamal where the WHO team had earlier identified another measles case in January. The administration is worried about the veracity of the test reports as rubella is very dangerous for pregnant women and their developing babies.

Meanwhile, an urgent meeting has been called on Monday to review all the test reports and discuss with the WHO teams. “The initial test reports are now under scanner after the revalidation test. We are not sure whether the children had tested positive or not. It will be clarified after the meeting,” the official said.

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