As we have seen in our previous blog, India has become a home sweet home for all kinds of infectious diseases. Especially the ones which are easily communicable, affecting a considerably large part of the population across metros like Delhi and Mumbai. Let’s continue understanding some more on rise of infectious diseases and their impact on our country.
Dengue & Chikungunya
There have been many critical cases of abnormal spread of infectious diseases like dengue and chikungunya. Carried by one specific Aedes mosquito, both dengue and chikungunya are more prevalent in urbanized areas.
The dengue virus hits as many as 390 million people around the world each year. During the last three years, around 30 million new cases of chikungunya had been registered. If recent estimates are to be believed, India is one of the top countries in the world to have the highest number of chikungunya and dengue patients.
India became quite notorious for its polio breakout back in October 2018. Later, it was found that live type-2 polio strains were deliberately circulated in vaccine samples, suggesting polio resurgence and creating a scare among the masses.
Although polio is not much prevalent in our country, it still stands as one of the few potentially resurgent infectious diseases. That being so, India should continue to be as vigilant, whilst ensuring high levels of polio immunization to avert potential outbreaks.
Pneumonia is another major burden in India, especially when it comes to toddlers and young children. At such a speed, it is being speculated that the disease will go on to claim the lives of more than 1.5 million children by 2030.
A study based on the pneumonia scenario around the world estimates that around 11 million children below the age of 5 are likely to fall prey to the disease within the next 12 years. The study also reveals that millions of children can be saved by increasing the levels of global immunization and providing easy access to drugs and antibiotics.
One of the most eminently vivacious infectious diseases, Ebola is spreading like a wildfire in major parts of Africa, especially in Congo. It has gained more prominence due to the conflicting results from civil war and subsequent treatments. Ebola is also a threat to India as some of our troops have been deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the epicenter of the viral infection.
Highly contagious, Ebola has already claimed several lives with around 70% mortality rate. It is a wide-ranging concern, especially in densely populated urban areas.
Yellow fever virus
Another mosquito-borne disease, the yellow fever virus leads to yellow fever with symptoms like liver and renal dysfunction, circulatory shock, and hemorrhage. It is a native of South America and Africa, and experts suggest that India is far beyond its circulation. However, it may pose a threat if an individual affected with yellow fever travels to India and gets bitten by a native mosquito. That would spread the virus to other native breeding mosquitoes and cause this infectious disease to flourish.
Other lesser-known, rise of infectious diseases include MERS-CoV (Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus), Avian influenza (H7N9), Usutu Virus, Tilapia novel orthomyxo-like virus, Cyclovirus, Banna Reovirus encephalitis, and Canine Parvovirus, which may be cause for concern if not proactively dealt with. Whether it’s the fatal diseases over their less fatal counterparts, authorities do need to ensure they plan for a sustainably comprehensive healthcare ecosystem.