Thiruvananthapuram: Afforestation, urbanisation and the change in eco-system have resulted in new viruses like Nipah hitting the people of Kerala, according to Dr. William Hall, School of Medicine, University College, Dublin.
He was here to attend the launch of the Institute of Advanced Virology at Thonnakkal on Saturday. He reached the city two days ago from Brazil where he was attending a conference on virology.
"This is my first visit to Kerala. Your chief minister has been determined to bring the IAV to Kerala. There are several factors causing the outbreak of viruses ranging from afforestation, urbanisation and change in eco-system,” he told DC on the sidelines of the launch of the IAV.
An avid photographer, Dr. Hall was seen holding a SLR camera around his neck and clicking pictures of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other dignitaries.
Mr Vijayan has arrang-ed a slew of meetings wi-th Dr. Hall and Dr. Chris-tian Brechot, president, GVN. Dr. Brechot highlighted that hepatitis, HIV and tuberculosis had been increasingly diagnosed because hum-an beings are affected by the climate change and the destruction of the eco-system."We must have research, science and education. Majority of the new viruses come from animals. Modern science and medicine is all about networking," said Dr. Brechot.
At the IAV facility, eight labs ranging from clinical virology, viral diagnostics, viral vaccines, anti-viral drug research, vital applications,viral epidemiology - vector dy-namics and public hea-lth, virus genomics, bio-informatics and statisti-cs to general virology wi-ll start functioning soon.
A post-graduate diploma course in virology and PhD in virology will also be started. The IAV's European and Asian centres (Japan) will supervise the lab at Thonnakkal....