I don't enjoy publishing travel warnings, but this is an important part of my responsibility as a travel professional. I want your travels to always be rewarding experiences while you remain safe and informed.
With this as a backdrop, I want to tell you about an outbreak of chikungunya and dengue in several popular tourist destinations in India. These tropical viruses have so far resulted in over 110 deaths and about 3,300 hospitalizations. The viruses are carried by the Tiger Mosquito.
The symptoms of chikungunya are high fever and crippling joint pain. The fever typically lasts for two days and abruptly comes down. However, other symptoms, namely joint pain, intense headache, and insomnia lasts for a variable period, usually for about 5 to 7 days.
India's Kerala State, which has recently been honored the world's top tourist destination, is now concerned about their upcoming tourist season which traditionally begins about October 15th. Other tourist destinations affected by the outbreak include Kottayam, Emakulam, Kollama and Thiruvananthapuram.
PK Hota, India's health secretary, said, "The situation is serious. The figures are likely to rise further until the weather changes in
November." In the mean time, the Indian Government is responding with supplies of test kits, medicines, and fogging machines.
A team from the World Health Organization (WHO) will be arriving soon to complete a spot study on the chikungunya viral outbreak. I will continue to monitor reports from India and the WHO and keep you informed.