A level 2 travel alert has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) for certain areas of India, including Rajasthan and surrounding states.
The CDC said on December 13th that pregnant women should NOT travel to areas with risk of Zika, including Rajasthan and surrounding states. Zika is regularly found in India, however, there is an unusual increase in the number of reported Zika cases in these areas of India.
Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel told the Rajya Sabha on 12th December that more than 280 cases of Zika virus infection were reported from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat from September to November 2018. Patel also said that there have been 2 confirmed deaths from Zika in Madhya Pradesh.
While many people who get infected from Zika only have mild symptoms, a Zika infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly. As there is no medicine or vaccine available to prevent against Zika, travelers should take steps to prevent an infection and spread of an infection.
Men should wait longer than women because Zika can stay in semen longer than other body fluids.