Zika virus infection in India

16 November 2021

Article: 55/4603

The BBC has reported that at least 89 people, including 17 children, have tested positive for Zika virus infection in a district in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state. The first case in Kanpur city was detected on 23 October 2021, and a state health official from the public health department has reported a surge in cases since. This is the first outbreak of the virus in Uttar Pradesh.

Zika virus infection is caused by the Zika virus (ZIKV), and is spread by mosquito bites which in pregnancy may result in congenital Zika syndrome, with potentially severe consequences for babies.

Advice for travellers

All travellers to countries that have reported ZIKV infection should be made aware of the following health advice. 

  • Follow mosquito bite avoidance measures, especially travellers who are pregnant or planning pregnancy
  • If sexually active, using condoms and contraception will help reduce the risk of sexual transmission of ZIKV and the risk of ZIKV in pregnancy, and should be practiced during travel and on return for two months if female, or three months if male. 
  • If pregnant, travellers 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. 
  • For travellers who are pregnant, planning pregnancy and to prevent onward sexual transmission, additional travel recommendations will be listed under the 'Emerging Health Risks' tab of TRAVAX country pages and the ‘Alerts’ section of the fitfortravel country pages.

Further information on ZIKV can be found on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.

Source: TRAVAX, 9 November 2021