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Zika Virus Infection in India (Kerala)

12 Jul 2021

The Health Minister of Kerala, India has reported 18 cases of Zika virus infection in the state on 11 July 2021. Media sources reported the infection was first identified in a pregnant woman in Thiruvananthapuram. On 28 June 2021, she was admitted to hospital with symptoms of fever, rash and headache. These are the first reports of Zika virus infection in Kerala.

Zika virus infection is caused by the Zika virus (ZIKV). It is spread by mosquito bites which in pregnancy may result in severe consequences for the baby.

Advice to travellers

The type of mosquitoes which transmit ZIKV, are particularly persistent and aggressive biters. If you are travelling to a country that has reported ZIKV infection, you must consider:

  • strict mosquito bite avoidance measures, especially if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy

  • using condoms and contraception if you are sexually active to avoid the sexual transmission of ZIKV and the risk of ZIKV in pregnancy, during travel and on return for 2 months (if female) or 3 months (if male)

  • travel insurance: if you are pregnant, you should check with your travel insurance company that you (and your baby) are covered under the policy before booking your trip, and be aware that the risk of ZIKV in any country may change during the time between planning your trip and travelling

  • if there are any additional travel recommendations specifically for pregnant travellers, those who are planning pregnancy and for preventing onward sexual transmission: these recommendations will be listed under the 'Alerts' section of each country page.

 Also see the Zika Virus infection page for further information.