International travels and environmental violations have caused a spurt in the number of viral infections, said Neurovirology professor Ravi Vasanthapuram on Monday.
He was speaking at the ‘International Conference on Innovations in Biotech and Medicine-2013’ at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI).
Vasanthapuram, who is the HoD of Neurovirology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, said there are many emerging viral diseases to be diagnosed and tackled today. Around 15 new viral infections, including Viral Encephalitis, Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Chandipura Viral Encephalitis among others were discovered during the last 20 years. “And the outbreak of dengue and re-emergence of chikungunya have been causes for concern,” he added. He said there are many challenges in developing indigenous viral diagnostics. Some of these are technological issues and delays by the Health and Family Welfare Ministry in approving methods.