BMC yet to accept Yash Chopra died of dengue--Are BMC figures telling half the story regarding dengue cases?

BMC yet to accept Yash Chopra died of dengue

Published: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012, 8:45 IST
By DNA Correspondent

While filmmaker Yash Chopra’s death report confirms that he succumbed to dengue, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is yet to accept it.
On Tuesday, the BMC received Chopra’s death report from Lilavati Hospital which mentions the cause of death as “sepses with pneumonia, with multi-organ failure, with dengue”.
But officials from the civic health department said the exact cause of Chopra’s demise will be confirmed after the report is scrutinised by the state-appointed death committee, which comprises doctors from JJ and other hospitals, and medical collages.
“Only three persons have died due to dengue this year. Chopra’s name will added in the records as dengue death only after confirmation from the death committee,” said Dr Arun Bamne, executive health officer.
An official from the health department said the committee is likely to meet next week and the report on the exact cause of death will be released immediately.
“The three deaths due to dengue this year have been certified by the death committee. To confirm death from malaria or dengue, it is procedure,” he added.
Meanwhile, following sharp criticism for the spread of dengue in the city, civic officials carried out a survey at all ministerial bungalows on Tuesday between 8am and 12pm.
Among the bungalows surveyed were Varsha of chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Devgiri of NCP leader Ajit Pawar, Dnyaneshwari of industries minister Narayan Rane, Chitrakut of home minister RR Patil, the Raj Bhavan, and the Chief Justice’s Bungalow.
“We were asked by higher-ups about the mosquito breeding spots in the area as it houses ministerial bungalows, Mantralaya and many other high-profile buildings,” said a civic official. “We did not find any mosquito breeding spot, but as a preventive measure we sprayed larvicide everywhere.”
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TNN Oct 18, 2012, 01.35AM IST
MUMBAI: The BMC's statistics on dengue cases in the city may have shown a slight increase, but figures from private diagnostic centres paint a scarier picture. If the data from private laboratories is to be believed, then more than a thousand Mumbaikars tested positive for dengue last month and the number is likely to double this month.
Metropolis Healthcare, for instance, recorded 481 dengue cases from the start of the month till Wednesday. The BMC, during the same period, has registered 143 cases.

 In September, 698 tested positive for dengue at the private laboratory, whereas the BMC recorded 242 positives.
It seems, the dengue situation in the city is graver the BMC thinks it is.
One reason, say experts, is that there is no uniformity in the diagnosis procedure of dengue. Dr Jayanti Shastri, head of microbiology department at civic-run Nair Hospital, said they are seeing two-three dengue positives everyday. "PCR test is done in the initial phase and is free of cost for civic patients. The antibody tests have limited value and certain kits detect both antigen and antibodies. But the problem is that diagnostic centers across the city use various test kits, which may give false positives or false negatives," she said., adding that this makes it impossible to get a fair picture of the disease load in the city.
An antibody is a large Y-shaped protein produced by B-cells that is used by the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign objects such as bacteria and viruses. An antigen is a substance that evokes the production of one or more antibodies. Thus, the presence of particular antibodies or antigens can prove that a person suffers from dengue.
The Metropolis data suggests that more people may be going for testing to a private set-up, which is why the number of positives is high too. "Most of the times, a patient is sent for antibody and antigen test in our lab. But the percentage of those testing positive for both at the same time is very low," said Dr Rajesh Bendre, consultant pathologist and head of immunochemistry department at the lab.
Dr Simi Bhatia, lab director, SRL Diagnostics, said the antigen and antibody tests are available as rapid tests as well as ELISA tests. "One test (IgM) detects better between Day 3 and Day 10 of infection, while the other (IgG) can detect better after the first week of the infection. Antigen is detected in patients with both primary and secondary dengue infections from Day 1 up to nine days after the onset of illness. Thus, the combined detection of NS1 antigen, IgG and IgM antibodies in single step helps for early and differential diagnosis of primary and secondary dengue infection."