Zika virus: Govt advises pregnant women to cancel travel to affected areas

New Delhi, Mar 1: In view of the outbreak of Zika virus, the government has issued a travel advisory urging pregnant women to defer or cancel their travel to the affected areas, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

"The Union Health Ministry has issued travel advisory that pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should defer or cancel their travel to the affected areas," Union Health Minister J P Nadda said.

Zika virus:Govt issues a travel advisory

He said that all pregnant women travelling to the affected countries or areas have been advised to strictly follow personal protective measures, especially during day time, to prevent mosquito bites.

He said that in case they fall sick within two weeks of return from an affected country, they should report to the nearest health facility.

"Advisory has also been issued that pregnant women who have travelled to areas with Zika virus transmission should mention about their travel during pregnancy check-up visits in order to be assessed and monitored appropriately at the health facility," he said.

The Health Minister said that guidelines for integrated vector management to prevent transmission by Aedes mosquito have been issued to all the states.

"These guidelines include vector surveillance, both for larva and adults, effective vector control through environmental management methods, personnel protection, biological control such as using larvivorous fish and using chemicals that kill adult and larval form of this mosquito.

"Vector surveillance and capacity building have also been done at international airports and ports," Nadda said.

Nadda had earlier said that till date, no case of Zika virus disease has been reported in India even as dengue-hit states of Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have been alerted as the same type of mosquito spreads both the viruses.

Zika virus is a member of the virus family flaviviridae and the genus flavivirus, transmitted by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes.


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