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Zika Virus Infection in India (Kerala)

12 July 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 congenital zika syndrome, with severe consequences for the baby.

Advice to travellers

Aedes mosquitoes, which transmit ZIKV, are particularly persistent and aggressive biters. All travellers to countries that have reported ZIKV infection must consider:

  • strict mosquito bite avoidance measures, especially pregnant travellers and those planning pregnancy

  • using condoms and contraception if 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: pregnant women should check with their travel insurance company that they are covered under the policy before booking their trip, and be aware that the risk of ZIKV in any country may change during the time between planning the trip and travelling

  • if there are any additional travel recommendations for pregnant travellers, those planning pregnancy and for preventing onward sexual transmission: these will be listed under the 'Emerging Health Risks' tab of TRAVAX country pages

 See the Zika Virus infection page for further information.