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Zika virus in India: Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka

16 Nov 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 Zika virus (ZIKV). It is spread by mosquito bites and in pregnancy may result in severe consequences for the baby.

Advice to travellers

The type of mosquitoes which transmit ZIKV, are particularly persistent and aggressive biters.  They bite during the day between dawn and dusk.   If you are travelling to a country that has reported ZIKV infection, you must consider:

  • avoiding mosquito bites, especially if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy 
  • using condoms and contraception if you are sexually active during travel, and on your return home for 2 months (if you are female) or 3 months (if you are male): this is to avoid sexual transmission of ZIKV and the risk of ZIKV in pregnancy
  • travel insurance: if you are pregnant, check with your travel insurance company that you (and your baby) are covered under the policy before booking your trip, and be aware that the risk of ZIKV in any country may change during the time between planning your trip and travelling
  • checking the 'Alerts' section of the country page for your destination to see if there are any additional travel recommendations specifically for pregnant travellers, those who are planning pregnancy and for preventing onward sexual transmission

 Also see the Zika Virus infection page for further information.