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Level 2 Zika Alert issued for Rajasthan and surrounding states by the US-CDC

Pregnant women should NOT travel to Rajasthan and surrounding states says CDC

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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.

Current situation

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.

What can travelers do?

  • Pregnant women should NOT travel to areas with Zika as an infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.
  • Travelers should prevent mosquito bites. This includes using insect repellent, wearing clothes that cover your arms, legs, and feet, and staying in places that have air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
  • Travelers should not have sex or should use condoms to protect against Zika.
  • Travelers should continue precautions after their trip ends to stop the spread of Zika to others back home.

Precautions

  • If your partner has traveled to an area with risk of Zika infection, either do not have sex for the rest of the pregnancy or use condoms.
  • If you have traveled to an area with risk of Zika and you have a pregnant partner, either do not have sex for the rest of the pregnancy or use condoms.
  • Wait for 3 months before trying to conceive after you return (or from the start of symptoms) if you are a man or a couple traveling together.
  • Wait 2 months before trying to conceive after you return (or from the start of symptoms) if you are a woman and your male partner does not travel.

Men should wait longer than women because Zika can stay in semen longer than other body fluids.

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