Thursday February 21, 2019

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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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)

Next Story

20 Genes That Can Predict Severity of Dengue Identified

The genes could serve as a basis for a targeted therapy for dengue, Einav said - but that's far on the horizon

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Researchers, including one of an Indian-origin, have identified 20 genes that can predict an individual’s likelihood of developing a severe form of dengue fever with about 80 per cent accuracy.

The team from Standford University in the US, identified a gene-expression pattern that predicts which people infected with dengue — a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever and joint pain, among other symptoms — are at highest risk for developing a severe form of the illness.

Every year, between 200 million and 400 million people in tropical and subtropical regions of the world contract dengue fever, and about 500,000 of those cases are fatal.

For the most part, people with the disease recover after receiving some fluids and a few days’ rest, said Purvesh Khatri, Associate Professor at the varsity.

“But there’s a smaller subset of patients who get severe dengue, and right now we don’t know how to tell the difference,” Khatri said.

Aedes
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during day time. Pixabay

Anywhere from 5 to 20 per cent of dengue cases will advance to severe.

Currently, to diagnose severe dengue the doctors wait to observe specific symptoms and results of laboratory tests that typically emerge in the late stages of the disease.

“These practices are not nearly sensitive or accurate enough, and some patients end up admitted to the hospital unnecessarily, while others are discharged prematurely,” said Shirit Einav, Associate Professor.

Also Read- FSSAI Bans Use of Staple Pins in Tea Bags

The new set of genes, reported in the Cell Reports journal, can help identify predictive biomarkers that can help doctors reliably gauge the likelihood of severe dengue in patients who are newly symptomatic and use that information to provide more accurate care to help guide therapeutic clinical studies and, in the future, to guide treatment decisions.

The genes could serve as a basis for a targeted therapy for dengue, Einav said – but that’s far on the horizon. (IANS)