The information on these pages should be used to research health risks and to inform the pre-travel consultation. For advice regarding safety and security please check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
Travellers should ideally arrange an appointment with their health professional at least four to six weeks before travel. However, even if time is short, an appointment is still worthwhile. This appointment provides an opportunity to assess health risks taking into account a number of factors including destination, medical history, and planned activities. For those with pre-existing health problems, an earlier appointment is recommended.
Country specific diphtheria recommendations are not provided here. Diphtheria tetanus and polio are combined in a single vaccine in the UK. Therefore, when a tetanus booster is recommended for travellers, diphtheria vaccine is also given. Should there be an outbreak of diphtheria in a country, diphtheria vaccination guidance will be provided where appropriate.
Those who may be at increased risk of an infectious disease due to their work, lifestyle choice, or certain underlying health problems should be up to date with additional recommended vaccines. See the individual chapters of the ‘Green Book’ Immunisation against infectious disease for further details.
Please read the information below carefully, as certificate requirements may be relevant to certain travellers only. For travellers further details, if required, should be sought from their healthcare professional.
There is no risk of yellow fever in India, however, there is a certificate requirement.
Under International Health Regulations, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers aged 9 months and over arriving within 6 days of departure from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Anyone (except infants up to the age of 9 months) arriving by air or sea without a yellow fever vaccination certificate is detained in isolation for up to 6 days if that person (i) arrives within 6 days of departure from an area with risk of yellow fever transmission, or (ii) has been in such an area in transit (except those passengers and members of the crew who, while in transit through an airport situated in an area with risk of yellow fever transmission, remained within the airport premises during the period of their entire stay and the Health Officer agrees to such exemption), or (iii) arrives on a ship that started from or touched at any port in an area with risk of yellow fever transmission up to 30 days before its arrival in India, unless such a ship has been disinsected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO, or (iv) arrives on an aircraft that has been in an area with risk of yellow fever transmission and has not been disinsected in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Indian Aircraft Public Health Rules, 1954, or as recommended by WHO.
Countries and areas regarded as having risk of yellow fever transmission are: Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda. Americas: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad (Trinidad only), and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).
Note: When a case of yellow fever is reported from any country, that country is regarded by the Government of India as a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and is added to the above list.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), from 11 July 2016 (for all countries), the yellow fever certificate will be valid for the duration of the life of the person vaccinated. As a consequence, a valid certificate, presented by arriving travellers, cannot be rejected on the grounds that more than ten years have passed since the date vaccination became effective as stated on the certificate; and that boosters or revaccination cannot be required. See WHO Q&A.
The vaccines in this section are recommended for most travellers visiting this country. Information on these vaccines can be found by clicking on the blue arrow. Vaccines are listed alphabetically.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection transmitted through contaminated food and water or by direct contact with an infectious person. Symptoms are often mild or absent in young children, but the disease becomes more serious with advancing age. Recovery can vary from weeks to months. Following hepatitis A illness, immunity is lifelong.
Those at increased risk include travellers visiting friends and relatives, long stay travellers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
All travellers should take care with personal, food and water hygiene.
Hepatitis A vaccination
As hepatitis A vaccine is well tolerated and affords long-lasting protection, it is recommended for all previously unvaccinated travellers.
Tetanus is caused by a toxin released from Clostridium tetani and occurs worldwide. Tetanus bacteria are present in soil and manure and may be introduced through open wounds such as a puncture wound, burn or scratch.
Travellers should thoroughly clean all wounds and seek appropriate medical attention.
Travellers should have completed a primary vaccination course according to the UK schedule.
If travelling to a country where medical facilities may be limited, a booster dose of a tetanus-containing vaccine is recommended if the last dose was more than ten years ago even if five doses of vaccine have been given previously.
Country specific information on medical facilities may be found in the ‘health’ section of the FCO foreign travel advice website.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection transmitted through contaminated food and water. Previous typhoid illness may only partially protect against re-infection.
Vaccination is recommended for most travellers, particularly travellers visiting friends and relatives, those in contact with an infected person, young children, frequent or long-stay travellers visiting areas where sanitation and food hygiene are likely to be poor, and laboratory personnel who may handle the bacteria for their work.
All travellers should take care with personal, food and water hygiene.
Oral and injectable typhoid vaccinations are available.
The vaccines in this section are recommended for sometravellers visiting this country. Information on when these vaccines should be considered can be found by clicking on the arrow. Vaccines are listed alphabetically.
Cholera is a bacterial infection transmitted by contaminated food and water. Cholera can cause severe watery diarrhoea although mild infections are common. Most travellers are at low risk.
All travellers should take care with personal, food and water hygiene.
This oral vaccine is recommended for those whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk. This includes:
those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to safe water and medical care.
those for whom vaccination is considered potentially beneficial.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection; it is transmitted by exposure to infected blood or body fluids. This mostly occurs during sexual contact or as a result of blood-to-blood contact (for example from contaminated equipment during medical and dental procedures, tattooing or body piercing procedures, and sharing of intravenous needles). Mothers with the virus can also transmit the infection to their baby during childbirth.
Hepatitis B in India
2% or more of the population are known or thought to be persistently infected with the hepatitis B virus (intermediate/high prevalence).
Travellers should avoid contact with blood or body fluids. This includes:
avoiding unprotected sexual intercourse.
avoiding tattooing, piercing, public shaving, and acupuncture (unless sterile equipment is used).
not sharing needles or other injection equipment.
following universal precautions if working in a medical/dental/high risk setting.
A sterile medical equipment kit may be helpful when travelling to resource poor areas.
Hepatitis B vaccination
Vaccination could be considered for all travellers, and is recommended for those whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk including:
those who may have unprotected sex.
those who may be exposed to contaminated needles through injecting drug use.
those who may be exposed to blood or body fluids through their work (e.g. health workers).
those who may be exposed to contaminated needles as a result of having medical or dental care e.g. those with pre-existing medical conditions and those travelling for medical care abroad including those intending to receive renal dialysis overseas.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a viral infection transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. These mosquitoes usually bite between dusk and dawn, mainly in rural areas; especially where there are rice fields, swamps and marshes. Mosquitoes become infected by biting JE infected animals (particularly pigs) or birds.
Travellers are at increased risk of infection when visiting rural areas. Short trips (usually less than a month) especially if only travelling to urban areas, are considered lower risk.
Japanese encephalitis in India
JE occurs in this country: in southern regions transmission is year-round. In northern regions, the transmission season is currently considered to be May to October, cases may be reported outside these months.
All travellers should avoid mosquito bites particularly between dusk and dawn.
Japanese encephalitis vaccination
Vaccination is recommended for those whose activities put them at increased risk (see above).
Vaccination could be considered for those on shorter trips if the risk is considered to be sufficient e.g. those spending time in areas where the mosquito breeds such as rice fields, marshlands, or pig farming areas.
Rabies is a viral infection which is usually transmitted following contact with the saliva of an infected animal most often via a bite, scratch or lick to an open wound or mucous membrane (such as on the eye, nose or mouth). Although many different animals can transmit the virus, most cases follow a bite or scratch from an infected dog. In some parts of the world, bats are an important source of infection.
Rabies symptoms can take some time to develop, but when they do, the condition is almost always fatal.
The risk of exposure is increased by certain activities and length of stay (see below). Children are at increased risk as they are less likely to avoid contact with animals and to report a bite, scratch or lick.
Rabies in India
Rabies is considered a risk and has been reported in domestic animals in this country. Bats may also carry rabies-like viruses.
Travellers should avoid contact with all animals. Rabies is preventable with prompt post-exposure treatment.
Following a possible exposure, wounds should be thoroughly cleansed and an urgent local medical assessment sought, even if the wound appears trivial.
TB is a bacterial infection transmitted most commonly by inhaling respiratory droplets from an infectious person. This is usually following prolonged or frequent close contact.
Tuberculosis in India
The average annual incidence of TB is greater than or equal to 40 cases per 100,000 population (further details).
Travellers should avoid close contact with individuals known to have infectious pulmonary (lung) TB.
Those at risk during their work (such as healthcare workers) should take appropriate infection control precautions.
Tuberculosis (BCG) vaccination
According to current national guidance, BCG vaccine should be recommended for those at increased risk of developing severe disease and/or of exposure to TB infection e.g. when the average annual incidence of TB is greater than or equal to 40 cases per 100,000 population. See Public Health England’s Immunisation against infectious disease, the ‘Green Book’.
For travellers, BCG vaccine is also recommended for:
unvaccinated, children under 16 years of age, who are going to live for more than 3 months in this country. A tuberculin skin test is required prior to vaccination for all children from 6 years of age and may be recommended for some younger children.
unvaccinated, tuberculin skin test negative individuals at risk due to their work such as healthcare or laboratory workers who have direct contact with TB patients or potentially infectious clinical material and vets and abattoir workers who handle animal material, which could be infected with TB.
There are specific contraindications associated with the BCG vaccine and health professionals must be trained to administer this vaccine intradermally (just under the top layer of skin).
Following administration, no further vaccines should be administered in the same limb for 3 months.
The BCG vaccine is given once only, booster doses are not recommended.
Malaria is a serious illness caused by infection of red blood cells with a parasite called Plasmodium. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes which predominantly feed between dusk and dawn.
Symptoms usually begin with a fever (high temperature) of 38°C (100°F) or more. Other symptoms may include feeling cold and shivery, headache, nausea, vomiting and aching muscles. Symptoms may appear between eight days and one year after the infected mosquito bite.
Prompt diagnosis and treatment is required as people with malaria can deteriorate quickly. Those at higher risk of malaria, or of severe complications from malaria, include pregnant women, infants and young children, the elderly, travellers who do not have a functioning spleen and those visiting friends and relatives.
Travellers should follow an ABCD guide to preventing malaria:
Awareness of the risk – Risk depends on the specific location, season of travel, length of stay, activities and type of accommodation.
Bite prevention – Travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures.
Chemoprophylaxis – Travellers should take antimalarials (malaria prevention tablets) if appropriate for the area (see below). No antimalarials are 100% effective but taking them in combination with mosquito bite avoidance measures will give substantial protection against malaria.
Diagnosis – Travellers who develop a fever of 38°C [100°F] or higher more than one week after being in a malaria risk area, or who develop any symptoms suggestive of malaria within a year of return should seek immediate medical care. Emergency standby treatment may be considered for those going to remote areas with limited access to medical attention.
There is a risk of malaria in the states of Assam and Orissa; the districts of East Godavari, Srikakulam, Vishakhapatnam and Vizianagaram in the state of Andhra Pradesh; and the districts of Balaghat, Dindori, Mandla and Seoni in the state of Madhya Pradesh (see map below – click on map to enlarge): atovaquone/proguanil OR doxycycline OR mefloquine recommended.
For the rest of India (including Goa and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) there is a low risk of malaria: awareness of risk and bite avoidance recommended.
There is no risk of malaria in the Lakshadweep islands.
Special risk groups
In low risk areas, antimalarials may be considered in exceptional circumstances for travellers who are at higher risk of malaria (such as long term travellers visiting friends and relatives), or of severe complications from malaria (such as the elderly [over 70 years], the immunosuppressed, those with complex co-morbidities, pregnant women, infants and young children).
Travellers with an absent or poorly functioning spleen should be dissuaded from travel to any area with risk of malaria, but where travel is essential awareness, rigorous bite avoidance and antimalarials should be advised.
In these circumstances, you may wish to seek specialist advice, although chloroquine plus proguanil would be an option.
The final decision whether or not to advise antimalarials rests with the travel health advisor and the traveller after individual risk assessment.
Antimalarial Recommendations Map
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(Click on static map to open in a new window)
There is a risk of malaria in the states of Assam and Orissa and in the districts of East Godavari, Srikakulam, Vishakhapatnam, and Vizianagaram in the state of Andhra Pradesh; and Balaghat, Dindori, Mandla and Seoni in the state of Madhya Pradesh Antimalarials recommended: atovaquone/proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine
There is a low risk in other parts of India Awareness and bite avoidance recommended
There is no risk in the Lakshadweep Islands
The map is intended as a guide and should be used with the recommendations above. Please note the shading along the coast may cover sections of the sea to ensure the full coast line and close by islands have the correct risk shading.
You can only interact with the country of India on this map; maps are best viewed in full screen mode.
Click on this icon to view map in full screen [then press Esc on keyboard to return].
Zooming in and out of the map
If your mouse has a scroll wheel, zoom in or out by holding Ctrl (Cmd on a Mac) and turning the wheel. Pulling the scroll wheel towards you zooms out, pushing it away zooms in.
If your mouse does not have a scroll wheel, point (with the mouse) to the area on the map that you want to zoom in or out of, then click on + or – icon
Looking around the map
Hold down the left click button on your mouse and move the mouse from side to side or up and down – this will allow you to pan around the map.
These will appear if you click on an area and indicate low or high risk. Close by clicking 'x' in the pop-up box.
Type in the name of place you wish to view in the box. Spelling is important.
The recommended antimalarials for India are listed below. They are recommended for certain areas only (see description of risk areas above). If these are not suitable please seek further specialist advice.
Please note, the advice for children is different, the dose is based on body weight and some antimalarials are not suitable.
start one to two days before arrival in the malaria risk area
for adults, one tablet is taken every day, ideally at the same time of day for the duration of the time in a malaria risk area and daily for seven days after leaving the malaria risk area
take with a fatty meal if possible
for children paediatric tablets are available and the dose is based on body weight (see table)
start one to two days before arrival in the malaria risk area
adults and children over 12 years of age take 100mg daily, ideally at the same time of day for the duration of the time in a malaria risk area and daily for four weeks after leaving the malaria risk area
take with food if possible; avoid taking this drug just before lying down
not suitable for children under 12 years of age
this drug is taken weekly, adults take one 250mg tablet each week
start two to three weeks before arrival in the malaria risk area and continue weekly until four weeks after leaving the malaria risk area
for children the dose is based on the body weight (see table below)
There are some risks that are relevant to all travellers regardless of destination. These may for example include road traffic and other accidents, diseases transmitted by insects or ticks, diseases transmitted by contaminated food and water, sexually transmitted infections, or health issues related to the heat or cold.
Some additional risks (which may be present in all or part of this country) are mentioned below and are presented alphabetically. Select risk to expand information.
There is a risk of altitude illness when travelling to destinations of 2,500 metres (8,200 feet) or higher. Important risk factors are the altitude gained, rate of ascent and sleeping altitude. Rapid ascent without a period of acclimatisation puts a traveller at higher risk.
There are three syndromes; acute mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude cerebral oedema (HACE) and high-altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE). HACE and HAPE require immediate descent and medical treatment.
Altitude illness in India
There is a point of elevation in this country higher than 2,500 metres. Some example places of interest, Leh 3,514m and Darjeeling 2,127m.
Travellers should spend a few days at an altitude below 3,000m.
Where possible travellers should avoid travel from altitudes less than 1,200m to altitudes greater than 3,500m in a single day.
Ascent above 3,000m should be gradual. Travellers should avoid increasing sleeping elevation by more than 500m per day and ensure a rest day (at the same altitude) every three or four days.
Acetazolamide can be used to assist with acclimatisation, but should not replace gradual ascent.
Travellers who develop symptoms of AMS (headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and sleep disturbance) should avoid further ascent. In the absence of improvement or with progression of symptoms the first response should be to descend.
Development of HACE or HAPE symptoms requires immediate descent and emergency medical treatment.
All travellers should avoid insect and tick bites day and night.
There are no vaccinations (or medications) to prevent these diseases.
Further information about specific insect or tick-borne diseases for this country can be found, if appropriate on this page, in other sections of the country information pages and the insect and tick bite avoidance factsheet.
Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes which predominantly feed between dawn and dusk. It causes a flu-like illness, which can occasionally develop into a more serious life-threatening form of the disease. Severe dengue is rare in travellers.
The mosquitoes that transmit dengue are most abundant in towns, cities and surrounding areas. All travellers to dengue areas are at risk.
Dengue in India
There is a risk of dengue in this country.
All travellers should avoid mosquito bites particularly between dawn and dusk.
There is currently no medication or vaccination available for travellers to prevent dengue.
Seasonal influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract and spreads easily from person to person via respiratory droplets when coughing and sneezing. Symptoms appear rapidly and include fever, muscle aches, headache, malaise (feeling unwell), cough, sore throat and a runny nose. In healthy individuals, symptoms improve without treatment within two to seven days. Severe illness is more common in those aged 65 years or over, those under 2 years of age, or those who have underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for complications of influenza.
Seasonal influenza in India
Seasonal influenza occurs throughout the world. In the northern hemisphere (including the UK), most influenza occurs from as early as October through to March. In the southern hemisphere, influenza mostly occurs between April and September. In the tropics, influenza can occur throughout the year.
All travellers should:
Avoid close contact with symptomatic individuals
Avoid crowded conditions where possible
Wash their hands frequently
Practise ‘cough hygiene’: sneezing or coughing into a tissue and promptly discarding it safely, and washing their hands
Avoid travel if unwell with influenza-like symptoms
A vaccine is available in certain circumstances (see below)*
*In the UK, seasonal influenza vaccine is offered routinely each year to those at higher risk of developing of severe disease following influenza infection, and certain additional groups such as healthcare workers and children as part of the UK national schedule (see information on vaccination). For those who do not fall into these groups, vaccination may be available privately.
If individuals at higher risk of severe disease following influenza infection are travelling to a country when influenza is likely to be circulating they should ensure they received a flu vaccination in the previous 12 months.
The vaccine used in the UK protects against the strains predicted to occur during the winter months of the northern hemisphere. It is not possible to obtain vaccine for the southern hemisphere in the UK, but the vaccine used during the UK influenza season should still provide important protection against strains likely to occur during the southern hemisphere influenza season, and in the tropics.
Avian influenza viruses can rarely infect and cause disease in humans. Such cases are usually associated with close exposure to infected bird or animal populations. Where appropriate, information on these will be available in the outbreaks and news sections of the relevant country pages. Seasonal influenza vaccines will not provide protection against avian influenza.
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection. Schistosoma larvae are released from infected freshwater snails and can penetrate intact human skin following contact with contaminated freshwater. Travellers may be exposed during activities such as wading, swimming, bathing or washing clothes in freshwater streams, rivers or lakes.
Schistosomiasis infection may cause no symptoms, but early symptoms can include a rash and itchy skin (‘swimmer’s itch’), fever, chills, cough, or muscle aches. If not treated, it can cause serious long term health problems such as intestinal or bladder disease.
Schistosomiasis in India
Cases of schistosomiasis have previously been reported from this country, however according to World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012, transmission of schistosoma larvae in fresh water may have been interrupted. Most travellers are considered to be at very low risk.
There is no vaccine or tablets to prevent schistosomiasis.
All travellers should avoid wading, swimming, or bathing in freshwater where possible. Swimming in chlorinated water or sea water is not a risk for schistosomiasis.
Topical application of insect repellent before exposure to water, or towel drying after accidental exposure to schistosomiasis are not reliable in preventing infection.
All travellers who may have been exposed to schistosomiasis should have a medical assessment.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes which predominantly feed between dawn and dusk. A small number of cases of sexual transmission of ZIKV have also been reported. Most people infected with ZIKV have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur they are usually mild and short-lived. Serious complications and deaths are not common. However ZIKV is a cause of Congenital Zika Syndrome (microcephaly and other congenital anomalies) and neurological complications such as Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Zika virus in India
There is a risk of ZIKV in this country. Pregnant women should consider avoiding travel to this country until after the pregnancy. In the event that travel is unavoidable, the pregnant traveller must be informed of the risks which ZIKV presents.
Due to a recent outbreak of ZIKV in Jaipur, Rajasthan, pregnant women are advised to avoid travel to Rajasthan until after pregnancy.
All travellers should avoid mosquito bites particularly between dawn and dusk.
There is no vaccination or medication to prevent ZIKV infection.
Women should avoid becoming pregnant while travelling in this country, and for 2 months (8 weeks) after their last possible ZIKV exposure* (see below if male partner has travelled).
If a woman develops symptoms compatible with ZIKV infection, it is recommended she avoids becoming pregnant for a further 2 months following recovery.
Pregnant women who visited this country while pregnant, or who become pregnant within 2 months after their last possible ZIKV exposure*, should contact their GP, obstetrician or midwife for further advice, even if they have not been unwell.
Please note screening of returning travellers without ZIKV symptoms is not available on the NHS. Couples planning pregnancy in the very near future should consider whether they should avoid travel to a country or area with risk of ZIKV, rather than delay conception for the recommended period (see below) after travel. This particularly includes couples in assisted fertility programmes.
*Last possible Zika virus exposure is defined as the later of either the date of leaving a country or area with risk for ZIKV transmission, or the date on which unprotected sexual contact with a potentially infectious partner took place.
Using information collated from a variety of sources, we regularly review and update information on overseas disease outbreaks and other health issues that may affect the UK traveller.
Please note that not all cases of disease or outbreaks are reported; some diseases may only be reported if they occur outside of the usual recognised risk area or season, or they have been reported in greater than usual numbers.