Severe Acute Respiratory Infection poses a significant threat to human health being a major cause of morbidity and mortality. India has witnessed several outbreaks of different infectious etiologies in the past. Among these, several new viral infections have been classified as emerging threat to humans. The word emerging refers to infectious etiologies that have newly appeared in the community or are rapidly increasing their range, corresponding to upsurge in the number of cases. Several different elements can contribute to the emergence of a new virus disease that may cause epidemic or pandemic around the globe. Containment of these viruses is difficult as most of them are of zoonotic origin. There is no immunity in the community against these viruses leaving individuals vulnerable to the disease. Factors such as socio-cultural, ecological along with human animal interphase creates challenges with respect to the emergence of these viral diseases. The major emerging viral infections of public health importance with respect to severe acute respiratory infection in India has been reviewed in this article.
Emerging viruses, SARI, COVID-19, public health
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