RTD CAN­NOT DE­TECT PAR­A­SITE: EX­PERTS

Deccan Chronicle - - CITY - DC COR­RE­SPON­DENT

The Rapid Di­ag­nos­tic Test (RDT) is not able to de­tect asymp­to­matic malaria, which can be de­tected only un­der the mi­cro­scope in a lab­o­ra­tory, say gov­ern­ment health of­fi­cials who are out in the field col­lect­ing blood sam­ples in health camps.

An RDT is quick and easy to per­form and suit­able for pre­lim­i­nary and emer­gency med­i­cal screen­ing in med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties with lim­ited re­sources.

The 13 peo­ple who tested pos­i­tive for asymp­to­matic malaria were found to be neg­a­tive in RDT blood tests.

A se­nior health of­fi­cial, who did not want to be named, said: “The par­a­site is seen un­der the mi­cro­scope and hence the sam­ples have to be checked via this method and con­firmed.” Pub­lic health of­fi­cials at health cen­tres in the state are be­ing equipped with kits to draw blood sam­ples and iden­tify pa­tients who are car­ri­ers of the par­a­site.

EX­PERTS IN in­fec­tion con­trol state that while treat­ing asymp­to­matic car­ri­ers it is im­por­tant to have a strong and ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy which will help com­mu­ni­ties and health pro­fes­sion­als speak about the la­tent dis­ease.

Ex­perts in in­fec­tion con­trol state that while treat­ing asymp­to­matic car­ri­ers it is im­por­tant to have a strong and ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy which will help com­mu­ni­ties and health pro­fes­sion­als clearly speak to each other about the la­tent dis­ease.

Also, preven­tive strate­gies must be strength­ened, which means more ef­fec­tive vec­tor con­trol mea­sures must be taken. Con­trol­ling the mos­quito pop­u­la­tion is a ma­jor task and has not worked well in the In­dian en­vi­ron­ment.

Also, screen­ing for malaria in pa­tients with anaemia in zones where there are a high num­ber of re­ported malaria cases would be a bet­ter way to con­trol the par­a­site.

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