India‚Äôs Health Ministry on Tuesday issued detailed guidelines, including a travel advisory for pregnant women urging them to either defer or cancel their travel to the areas affected with the virus.
This came after the World Health Organization earlier on Tuesday urged Southeast Asian countries and India to strengthen surveillance and take preventive measures against Zika virus, especially as the mosquito responsible for its spread is found in many areas of the region.
Last week, Indian Medical Association issued advisory asking pregnant Indian women to avoid visiting Latin America.
This came in the backdrop of WHO conveying an emergency committee to discuss about the ‚Äúexplosive‚ÄĚ spread of the Zika virus in 23 countries of the central and south American region.
Here is the full text of the travel advisory:
Non-essential travel to the affected countries to be deferred/ cancelled.
(Zika virus disease has been reported so far in the following countries; Brazil, Barbados, Bolivia, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Equador, El Salvador, French Guyana. Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, St Martin, Suriname, Virgin Island and Venezuela).
Pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should defer/ cancel their travel to the affected areas.
All travelers to the affected countries/ areas should strictly follow individual protective measures, especially during day time, to prevent mosquito bites (use of mosquito repellant cream, electronic mosquito repellants, use of bed nets, and dress that appropriately covers most of the body parts).
Persons with co-morbid conditions (diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory illness, Immune disorders etc) should seek advice from the nearest health facility, prior to travel to an affected country.
Travelers having febrile illness within two weeks of return from an affected country should report to the nearest health facility.
Pregnant women who have travelled to areas with Zika virus transmission should mention about their travel during ante-natal visits in order to be assessed and monitored appropriately.