The Zika virus was first discovered in the 1940s, though most people had never heard of it until this year. In light of this evidence, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on February 1. And now, the Indian health ministry issued detailed guidelines for combating the disease.
- Prevent mosquito breeding around houses.
- Use mosquito repellents to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Persons with co-morbid conditions (diabetes, hypertension, chronic respiratory illness, immunity disorders, etc.) should seek advice from the nearest health facility, prior to travel to an affected country.
- Non-essential travel to the affected countries in the Latin American region and the Caribbean should be deferred/cancelled.
- All travellers to the affected countries/areas should strictly follow individual protective measures, especially during the day, 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).
- Pregnant women or women who are trying to become pregnant should defer/cancel their travel to the affected areas.
- Travellers who complain of fever 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 antenatal visits in order to be assessed and monitored appropriately.
To read more about Zika, click here to read our previous article.