LAHORE: Suspected dengue patients have started reporting to both public and private hospitals of the provincial capital, it is learnt.
Sources said that four dozen or so patients, including women, visited city’s health facilities with symptoms of dengue fever.
Most of the patients were admitted to Services and Sir Ganga Ram hospitals where 17 and 13 people, respectively, were treated as suspected dengue fever patients during last two days or so.
Similarly, nine suspected patients, including three women, were shifted to Mayo Hospital while four to the Lahore General Hospital.
Senior doctors, however, denied presence of even suspected dengue patients, saying some general practitioners, dispensers and quacks were creating panic and referring patients to major hospitals without proper diagnosis.
A senior consultant was of the view that inexperienced doctors in some major health facilities and private clinics were not following proper diagnostic criteria during examination of patients with high fever complaint.
They were diagnosing the patients with dengue on the basis of IGG and IGM tests which were not confirmatory tests for the virus and were mere antibody-based tests.
Allama Iqbal Medical College principal Dr Javed Akram said that the Jinnah Hospital had received only one patient, 36-year-old Saleem Beig, who was referred by a private doctor with suspicion of dengue fever on the basis of IGG and IGM analysis.
He said the Jinnah Hospital doctors performed NS-I antigen and PCR tests on the patient and the result of both the tests was found to be negative.
He said most of the patients were reporting to the public hospitals of the city these days with typhoid fever instead of dengue fever.
For the information of medical practitioners, Prof Akram said the NS-I and PCR tests possessed high sensitivity and specificity and should be utilised under the present scenario as the antibody-based tests (IGG and IGM) had lost their sensitivity due to mass exposure from dengue virus during the last outbreak of the epidemic.
He stressed the need to follow confirmatory tests while attending patients visiting health facilities with running temperature.
Meanwhile, a health department spokesperson has said that on the recommendations of Dengue Experts Advisory Group headed by Prof. Dr Faisal Masood, the department has already issued instructions to all public sector hospitals to carry out NS-I test on suspected dengue patients for confirmation during an endemic situation.
He said that NS-I test was conducted on a suspected dengue patient admitted in Mayo Hospital, but its result was negative.
The spokesman further said that guidelines prepared by the Dengue Experts Advisory Group for diagnosis and treatment of dengue patients during endemic season had already been issued to the administrations of all public-sector hospitals in the province.