New Delhi: The Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists (IAMM) has urged the Delhi government to issue an advisory clarifying Dengue ELISA is not required to start treatment of the vector-borne disease or for getting admitted to hospitals.
The suggestion comes in the wake of tempers running high at testing centres with people demanding immediate results of their ELISA test which is performed to diagnose the disease.
"There is panic or hysteria that has been created in the community with high tempers where people are demanding dengue ELISA reports immediately quoting its availability and recommendation by authorities. The perception created in the minds of the public is that nothing can be done unless Dengue ELISA report is made available.
"Due to logistic reasons ELISA reports cannot be issued before its due time which cannot be less than six hours for each run. Thus, there is a need for an advisory from your esteemed office clarifying that Dengue ELISA is not vital or pre requisite for admission or therapy but haemogram is," said the letter by Dr Chand Wattal, Secretary of IAMM.
Dr Wattal further said that contrary to the rapid tests the results of which are available in 15-30 mins, the ELISA IgM tests cannot be done on a single sample basis and takes a minimum of 4-6 hours.
"The ELISA IgM antigen tests cannot be done on a single sample basis unlike the rapid spot test and takes a minimum of 4-6 hours to give results. It requires optimal batching of samples to a certain number to ensure optimal utilisation of the assay and cannot be done in a hurry.
"The required time of incubation should be adhered to, to prevent false positive or wrong results. Also, not more than twice in 24 hours can this assay be done," said Dr Wattal.
Noting there is no specific anti-viral therapy for dengue disease, the President of IAMM, Dr B L Sherwal said a patient need not wait for a laboratory confirmation to start the supportive treatment.
"Other laboratory parameters like Hbgm per cent, platelet count and PCV values need be taken into consideration as they can predict the severity of the disease irrespective of the dengue ELISA report. These laboratory results take much less time than an ELISA report," Dr Sherwal said.
Dengue has so far affected over 6,500 people and claimed 37 lives in the national capital.