Outbound Travel

India issues travel advisory on Zika virus

DELHI

With the WHO declaring Zika virus disease a public health emergency, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday issued detailed guidelines to deal with the mosquito-borne virus including an advisory to travellers (both male and female) to consider postponing their travel to affected countries.

zika-countries-nhAlso, all the international airports and ports have been asked to display billboards and signage providing information to travelers on Zika virus disease and to report to custom authorities if they are returning from affected countries and suffering from febrile illness, symptom of the disease, reports The Pioneer.

The guideline advises non-essential travel to the affected countries to be deferred or cancelled while pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should defer/ cancel their travel to the affected areas.

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Pregnant women who have travelled to areas with Zika virus transmission should mention about their travel during antenatal visits in order to be assessed and monitored appropriately, as per the guidelines.

The Ministry said the overall situation would be monitored by a ‘joint monitoring group’ under Director General of Health Services (DGHS) while the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) would identify the research priorities and take appropriate action.

Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) shall be activated at Central and State surveillance units with each team comprising an epidemiologist or public health specialist, a microbiologist and a medical specialist, the ministry added.

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