Focal theme of 30th KSC will be Viruses and Infectious Diseases.
The incidence of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in humans has increased in the recent past worldwide and threatens to increase in the near future. During the last three decades over 30 new infectious agents have been detected worldwide and 60% of these infections are of zoonotic origin. Developing countries such as India suffer disproportionately from the burden of viral infectious diseases. Generally, there are several factors, which lead to the viral infectious diseases, which include poor sanitation, inadequate personal hygiene, lack of access to safe water etc. However, favourable environmental conditions of Kerala, demographic change, the expansion of the agricultural activities, social behaviour patterns, intensive air traffic, transporting both vectors and infected humans, importation of animals carrying the viruses, large-scale ecological alterations like dam- and road-building, and lack of adequate resources and infrastructure for disease control activities put the State at a higher risk of epidemics of emerging infections. The aforesaid facts underscore the need to improve preparedness at different levels such as State, National, and International levels for future pandemics. It is clear that new viruses are likely to continue to emerge and challenge public health causing serious burden in terms of untold morbidity and mortality, disruption of trade and travel, which will negatively affect the economy.
The Science Congress will discuss the issues in detail and the ways and means for addressing the challenges and threats in this field and its relevance to the State of Kerala with the help of various research and development institutions and experts working in this sector.