An outbreak of Zika virus infection in Rajasthan, India and surrounding states has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for the region.
Zika is endemic (regularly found) in India. However, there is an unusual increase in the number of Zika cases in Rajasthan and surrounding states. Over 280 cases of Zika virus infection, including two deaths, were reported from three states from September to November.
CDC says many people infected with Zika virus only have mild symptoms or do not get sick. However, infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects. Because there is no vaccine or medicine for Zika, travelers should take steps to prevent getting Zika during travel. They should also take actions to prevent spreading it when they return home.
What can travelers do to prevent Zika?
- Pregnant women should NOT travel to areas with risk of Zika. This is because Zika infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects.
- All travelers to areas with risk of Zika should (1) prevent mosquito bites and (2) use condoms or not have sex to protect against Zika during travel. They should continue to take these precautions after their trip to stop the spread of Zika to others back home.
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