Is India particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases? | In Focus podcast

Over the last decade, India has seen the emergence, or re-emergence, of a number of infectious diseases. Not only have we seen an alarming surge in the number of dengue and chikungunya cases, we've had Zika and Nipah virus cases, and even an Ebola scare.

This is in addition to existing diseases that we are still battling -- such as tuberculosis, malaria, Kala Azar and others, and all the while India battled the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.Some estimates indicate that about 60% of infectious diseases and 70% of emerging infections of humans are zoonotic in origin, with two-thirds originating in wildlife.

India, a tropical country, that is still, in many parts, grappling with inadequate sanitation, overcrowding, and lack of adequate access to healthcare, has also, of late, been subject to extreme climate events -- all of these, and other factors such as human encroachment into wildlife terrain may also be playing a role in the emergence of infections or surge in cases.

What do we know about why these infections come in spurts? Are there any vaccines for them and if not, why not? Is India particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases? And what can the government do to prepare and strengthen our already over-burdened healthcare systems? We speak about this and more in the podcast.

Guest: Dr Priscilla Rupali, Professor Department of Infectious Diseases Christian Medical College, Vellore

Host: Zubeda Hamid

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 3:20:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/podcast/is-india-particularly-vulnerable-to-infectious-diseases-in-focus-podcast/article37773883.ece

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