Avoid undercooked meat and seafood, raw vegetables and salads.
Boil or purify drinking water if in doubt.
Ensure cooked food is served steaming hot.
Cover exposed skin, sleep under permethrinimimpregnated mosquito nets and use insect repellent especially in known malaria areas. Daytime mosquito protection is needed in areas of risk for dengue fever.
Be aware that mammals can transmit rabies. If bitten, seek immediate medical advice.
Avoid swimming or wading in fresh water rivers and lakes where bilharzia (schistosomiasis) infection can occur.
If you are arriving in India from Sub-Saharan Africa or other yellow-fever areas, Indian health regulations require that you present evidence of vaccination against yellow fever. If you do not have such proof, you could be subjected to immediate deportation or a six-day detention in the yellow-fever quarantine center. If you transit through any part of sub-Saharan Africa, even for one day, you are advised to carry proof of yellow fever immunization.
Some vaccines such as Typhoid, Influenza, and Hepatitis A are recommended for all travelers and other vaccines such as Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, and Rabies are recommended for high-risk travelers.
A high risk of rabies transmission exists in most of India with dogs and bats posing the most common threat. Vaccination is recommended for all prolonged stays with a priority for young children and travelers in rural areas. It is also recommended for shorter stays that involve occupational exposure; locations more than 24 hours' travel from a reliable source of human rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine for post-exposure treatment
Influenza is transmitted from November to April in areas north of the Tropic of Cancer, and from June through November (the rainy season) in areas south of the Tropic of Cancer, with a smaller peak from February through April; off-season transmission can also occur. All travelers are at increased risk. Influenza vaccine is recommended for all travelers during the flu season.
Malaria prophylaxis depends on time of year and area the traveler is going visiting. Please consult the CDC website for more information.
For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information. These websites provide useful information, such as suggested vaccinations for visitors to India, safe food and water precautions, appropriate measures to avoid contraction of mosquito-borne diseases (such as malaria and Japanese B encephalitis), suggestions to avoid altitude sickness, etc. Further, these sites provide information on disease outbreaks that may arise from time to time. Outbreaks of mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue fever and chikungunya occur in various parts of India each year. You should check these sites shortly before traveling to India.
For emergency services, dial 112 from a cell phone; from a land line, dial 100 for police, 102 for ambulance, and 101 for fire. Ambulances are not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, and traffic does not yield to emergency vehicles. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
Most hospitals require advance payment or confirmation of insurance prior to treatment. There is not clear information as to payment practices or whether credit cards are accepted for medical care.
Dengue fever presents significant risk in urban and rural areas including the major cities in India. The highest number of cases is reported from July to December with cases peaking from September to October. Daytime insect precautions are recommended.
Despite reports of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals, in general travelers should not delay or avoid treatment for urgent or emergent medical situations. Rh-negative blood may be difficult to obtain as it is not common in Asia.