Scientists are calling for the government to tackle the threats they say are creating a climate of distrust and intimidation.
Dr Gautam Prakash, who heads the National Centre for Science Research (NCSR), a non-profit organisation, said that in the past three years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of cases of people being threatened by a suspected case of Lyme disease, a potentially fatal illness linked to Lyme.
The threat has increased dramatically and is not confined to India.
“I think we should take steps to increase the visibility of these diseases,” Dr Prakish said.
“There is no doubt that this is the biggest challenge facing Indian science,” he added.
“We are living in a very dangerous environment.
We have a lot of challenges and this can only be overcome through action.”
The NCSR, which runs a network of scientific and technical education and research institutes, has recorded more than 1,300 cases of Lyme since the beginning of the year, including nearly 200 deaths.
“In the last three years we have had a big increase in the incidence of the disease and now it is reaching a plateau.
We do not know what the future holds for this disease, but it is dangerous.”
This is not a disease that can be treated.
It will kill you and there are no treatments available,” he said.
Dr Prakkish said that the government needs to take action to counter the growing threat to scientific integrity and to ensure the rights of scientists are protected.
The NCSER also has warned that a rise in cases of the Lyme disease could result in the end of the country’s scientific research.”
The increase in cases is an indicator of the fact that this disease is becoming increasingly resistant to treatment,” said the organisation’s director, Dr Rajesh Gopinath.”
Scientists are in the middle of a period of intense research.
There is a lot at stake and we cannot afford to let this go unchecked,” he told Al Jazeera.
India has more than 2,000 universities and research centres, most of which are affiliated with the government.
The National Centre of Science Research, an independent body, is responsible for overseeing scientific research, and its report on the situation in science has highlighted a growing concern over the threat of Lyme, a disease linked to a cluster of bacteria known as Lyme borreliosis, or Lyme disease.”
It is a major problem for our research,” he explained.”
We are witnessing a major increase in infections, and there is a high risk that this will lead to the extinction of the ecosystem.”
It is a major problem for our research,” he explained.
Dr Bhattcharya said that while research has increased, there is no indication that the situation is improving.”
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that while the number and number of reported cases have been decreasing, it is too early to draw any conclusions about the overall health of India’s research community.”
But we have been witnessing a large rise in Lyme cases and there seems to be a lack of action by the government.”
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that while the number and number of reported cases have been decreasing, it is too early to draw any conclusions about the overall health of India’s research community.
The CDC said that it has received an alarming number of reports from scientists in India that the climate of fear has grown since the early days of the Pandemic, and is having a profound effect on the quality of research.
Dr C.N. Bajaj, a professor of medicine at the Jawaharlal Nehru University and a former member of the World Health Organisation, told Al jazeera that the CDC has no data on the number or number of confirmed Lyme cases, but he added that there is reason to believe the number is increasing.
“You can say that India is the worst country in the world when it comes to Lyme disease,” Dr Bajaja said.