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Last Updated : Jul 23, 2019 04:48 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Scientists call for surveillance against Ebola, nine other viral infections in India

Formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, it is a rare but severe, often fatal illness in humans.

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The deadly Ebola virus could pose a threat to public health in India, said scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) – apex medical research bodies of India, The Times of India has reported.

According to the report, scientists have identified 10 emerging viral infections in the country and called for surveillance against these.

These viral infections include Ebola. Formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, it is a rare but severe, often fatal, illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population via human-to-human transmission, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Chances of Ebola reaching India are through international travellers from countries where it has been reported, said the report citing Dr Balram Bhargava, director general of ICMR. According to him, nearly 30,000 Indians live in Uganda, where Ebola has been reported. “Some of our troops are also present in Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), where the viral infection has led to an outbreak situation at present,” he added.

Ebola has killed more than 1,700 people since August 2018 in DR Congo.

Other viral infections the scientists identified as emerging in India include MERS-CoV, Avian influenza - H7N9 and H9N2, yellow fever virus, Usutu virus, Tilapia novel orthomyxo-like virus (causes hepatitis), Cyclovirus, Banna Reo Virus encephalitis, and Canine parvovirus, said the report.

However, DR Bhargava assured people of the country’s preparedness. “Our country has infrastructure and expertise to tackle any future challenge,” he said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Jul 23, 2019 04:48 pm
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