swine flu, H1N1 flu
(Representational Image )Till the date, the deadly disease has claimed four lives in the national capital, three in Telangana and four in Rajasthan.Reuters

Zika, Ebola and the other infectious diseases challenging the global healthcare are on the agenda of the 17th International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID), which kicked off in Hyderabad Wednesday. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) have partnered with the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) to host the event.

"India is hosting the four-day (March 2- March 5) conference for the first time, which will see a participation of public health specialists, microbiologists and scientists from more than 160 countries," John Kohen, President ISID, said in a statement.

He said the meeting will provide an outstanding opportunity to colleagues from around the world to share their experiences and learn from the internationally respected faculty.

The event was inaugurated Wednesday by Andhra Pradesh Health Minister C. Laxma Reddy, who hailed the gathering and called it an essential step to improve healthcare standards, The Hindu reports.

"India has done well to combat diseases and we need to utilise alternate medicines to further our prowess," the daily quoted Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research, as saying. 

Experts from UK, USA, Singapore, and Brazil will participate in the seminar and deliver talks. They will also share research on various global health emergencies like Zika, Dengue, Ebola and Chikungunya.

Lectures on the local and global response to viral threats around the world will be held March 4, which will be presided over by Paul Anantrajah Tambyah, Professor of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

"Given the continued importance of threats including antibiotic resistance, malaria and more recently, Ebola and Zika viruses, the event underscores the continued importance of infectious diseases in India," the daily quoted  R Laxmi Narayan, vice-president for Research and Policy at PHFI, who is also chairing the conference organising committee. 

The various challenges Tuberculosis treatment is faced with will be discussed by Soumya Swaminathan.

On the inaugural day of the conference, panelists discussed Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) — when body develops resistance to antibiotics -- under the theme "Rise of Superbugs-How can we respond?".

"The international and the national organising committees of the ICID have put together a tremendously interesting programme on infectious disease research and practice," Narayan added.