Message for U.S. Citizens: Zika Virus in India

In late May, the Government of India reported three laboratory-confirmed cases of Zika infection in the Ahmedabad District of the State of Gujarat.  Two of the cases involved pregnant/postpartum women, but there is currently no evidence that the newborns were affected.  Since this announcement, the Government of India has implemented a widespread containment and monitoring network, to limit the spread of Zika. Testing and educational processes have also been expanded.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to work closely with Indian authorities on this issue.

In response to this new information regarding the presence of Zika in India, the World Health Organization has added India to its list of Category 2 countries, indicating new evidence of Zika virus circulation. It is important to note that U.S. Center for Disease Control has not changed its recommendations in light of this new information; their recommendation that pregnant women do not travel to India, in effect since March 2017, stands.

At this time, the risk of Zika infection remains low for the U.S. citizen community in India. However, it is important to continue to maintain aggressive mosquito bite prevention procedures. As monsoon season approaches the presence of mosquitoes will certainly increase. Appropriate clothing, insect repellant, and environmental controls can drastically reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito. In addition to Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya remain prevalent in India, and are transmitted by the same species of mosquito.  Symptoms from Zika are usually mild.  However, unborn babies are most at risk for serious complications.

If you have any questions or concerns about your personal exposure or risk of contracting the Zika virus, please contact your doctor.  Please see these additional resources for up-to-date information on the Zika virus:

For general information about travel in India or to obtain assistance:

  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).