Saturday May 26, 2018

Delhi Govt: Dengue test fee at Rs 600

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The Delhi Government on Wednesday fixed a maximum fee of Rs 600 for dengue tests at private hospital, after reports of overcharging by private hospitals came to light, a minister said.

“We have come to know that private hospitals are overcharging for dengue tests. That is why we’ve decided to fix a cap on these tests for the private hospitals and laboratories. Nobody can charge anything beyond this rate,” said Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain.

Private hospitals were instructed by the state government to increase their bed count by 10 to 20 percent within a week.

“If the private hospitals successfully increase the number of beds, there will be an average increase of at least 3,000 beds for patients in the capital. These will be used only for fever and dengue patients and no private hospital should turn away patients,” he said.

There are three tests for dengue – NS1 antigen test, dengue antibody test and the platelet count test. The minister said that the government has fixed a cap of Rs.600 each for the first two tests and Rs.50 for platelet count test.

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www.ndtv.com

At present, there are a total of 10,000 beds in state-run hospitals, 20,000 in municipal and central government-run hospitals, and 20,000 more in private hospitals, according to the Delhi Government.

Reacting to the recent deaths in the capital because of Dengue, he said: “This is not an outbreak but people are in panic. I appeal to the people to try and avoid mosquito bite during day time. People should understand their responsibility. They shouldn’t let water collect in pots, pots, tyres and utensils.”

In addition, he urged people not to indulge in “self-medication” and advised that people should “take medicines only on the prescription of doctors”.

“But they should not pressurize hospitals to get themselves admitted. If a doctor feels a patient needs to be admitted, he will do it,” said Jain.

Regarding the shortage of beds at Safdarjung hospital, Jain said: “I have spoken to (Union Health Minister) J.P. Nadda yesterday (Tuesday) and requested him to look into the matter.”

(With inputs from IANS)

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Dengue Vaccine Should Not Be Used Widely: UN Health Agency

UN Health Agency issued an important statement regarding the dengue vaccine

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Dengue vaccine.
A Manila Health officer shows off a pair of vials of the anti-dengue vaccine Dengvaxia after being recalled from local government health centers Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. The World Health Organization says the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in "a much safer way," meaning that the shot should mostly be given to people who have previously been infected with the disease. VOA

The World Health Organization says the first-ever vaccine for dengue needs to be dealt with in “a much safer way,” meaning that the shot should mostly be given to people who have previously been infected with the disease.

In November, the vaccine’s manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, said people who had never been sickened by dengue before were at risk of developing a more serious disease after getting the shot.

After a two-day meeting this week, WHO’s independent vaccines group said it now had proof the vaccine should only be used “exclusively or almost exclusively in people who have already been infected with dengue.”

Also Read: Anti-dengue Antibody Drug May Neutralize Zika Virus

The U.N. health agency said a test should be developed so doctors would be able to quickly tell if people had previously been sickened by dengue – but the group acknowledged doing that so isn’t straightforward.

“We see significant obstacles in using the vaccine this way, but we are confident this also spurs the development of a rapid diagnostic test,” said Dr. Joachim Hombach, executive secretary of WHO’s expert group, during a news conference Thursday.

Representational image for dengue vaccination
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Sanofi said last year that doctors should consider whether people might have been previously infected with dengue before deciding whether they should risk getting immunized. The company said it expected to take a 100 million euro ($118 million) loss based on that news.

People who catch dengue more than once can be at risk of a hemorrhagic version of the disease. The mosquito-spread virus is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates across Latin and South America, Asia, Africa and elsewhere. It causes a flu-like disease that can cause joint pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash. In severe cases, dengue can result in breathing problems, hemorrhaging and organ failure.

About half the world’s population is at risk of dengue; WHO estimates that about 96 million people are sickened by the viral infection every year.

Also Read: Dengue fever may increase risk of stroke: Study

Following Sanofi’s announcement last year, the Philippines halted its dengue immunization program, the world’s first national vaccination program for dengue. The government also demanded a refund of more than 3 billion pesos ($59 million) from Sanofi and is considering further legal action.

In February, the Philippines said the vaccine was potentially linked to the deaths of three people: all of them died of dengue despite having received the vaccine.

The country imposed a symbolic fine of $2,000 on Sanofi and suspended the vaccine’s approval, charging that the drugmaker broke rules on how the shot was registered and marketed.

More than 730,000 children aged 9 and above in the Philippines have received at least one dose of the dengue vaccine, usually delivered in three doses.

There is no specific treatment for dengue and there are no other licensed vaccines on the market.  VOA