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Zika virus in India: Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka

16 November 2023

The Times of India, quoting government health officials, has reported Zika virus in three Indian states in November 2023. The affected states are:

Maharashtra: 7 cases of Zika virus diseases have been reported in Chembur, Mumbai, Ichalkaranji, Miraj, Kolhapur, Pandharpur and Pune as of 16 November 2023. The case in Pune had recently arrived from the state of Kerala.

Kerala: 8 cases of Zika virus disease were reported in Kannur District from 30 October 2023 to 6 November 2023.

Karnataka: Zika virus was identified in mosquitoes in Chickballapur in early November 2023.

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. They bite between dawn and dusk. 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.