India’s Zika status modified

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The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has modified its advisory against travelling to India due to Zika from ‘ongoing outbreak’ to ‘current or past transmission but no current outbreak’, indicating that it is now safe for travellers to visit the country without risk of the disease.

Back in January, the Indian Government asked the US to withdraw its advisory against travel to India, stating that the Zika outbreak had subsided. At the time, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava said: “I wish to bring to your attention that Zika virus outbreak in both Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have now subsided completely. There are no reports of fresh cases and vector indices are also well within acceptable limits. I urge you to take up the matter with the concerned authorities at CDC and withdraw/modify the travel advisory.” He provided data on human and vector surveillance for Zika virus disease in India.

In an official statement, the ICMR stated: “The communication was successful in ensuring modification of the travel advisory on 27 March 2019.” It is still advisable for travellers to India to take precautions to avoid disease transmission, such as avoiding mosquito bites by using repellent and covering up.