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Private hospitals, government differ over dengue count

gurgaon Updated: Aug 08, 2013 01:22 IST
Himabindu Reddy
Himabindu Reddy
Hindustan Times
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The mosquito menace is back to haunt the city in the form of dengue, thanks to the wet spell. But the health department and private hospitals in Gurgaon are divided over the number of dengue cases.

According to official figures, 14 cases have been registered in the district this season, while private hospitals put the count close to 40.

Some of the top hospitals in Gurgaon such as Artemis Health Sciences have registered 13 cases since June while Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) has seen around 20 cases and Columbia Asia has reported six since July.

The health department had issued guidelines to all private hospitals with regard to their handling vector-borne diseases in July, which was observed as dengue month. These included the method of treatment, prevention and record keeping.

The department was caught in a similar discrepancy last year too. Private hospitals pegged the number beyond 1,000 cases but the government figures were 469. There was also a gap in the number of dengue deaths, with the health department registering one and the private health facilities claiming five.

The major reason for the vast discrepancy is because the government and private hospitals use different testing kits to confirm a dengue case. Gurgaon’s Civil Hospital uses the IGM dengue test kit, which is part of the dengue serology and NS1 antigen test, to confirm cases and private hospitals use a different kit.

“The difference in numbers is because we get our test kits from the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Only if the cases test positive through these kits, they are confirmed as positive,” said Dr Mahinder Gupta, deputy civil surgeon, Gurgaon district.

The district has also seen an increase in malaria cases with the health department registering 80 cases.

“The dengue season has just started. Cases will go up by mid-September and October. We have started seeing a surge in malaria and viral fever cases,” said Dr SP Yadav, managing director, Pushpanjali Hospital.