The Centre on Tuesday issued guidelines on the mosquito-borne Zika virus, including an advisory urging pregnant women to avoid traveling to affected countries, reported PTI. Further details on the guidelines are awaited. This was after the World Health Organisation said it fears the virus could spread to Asia and Africa, which have "the highest birth rates in the world".

The WHO had earlier declared the virus outbreak in Latin America as an international public health emergency. The world body also said it was gearing up to battle the outbreak, which was “strongly suspected” to be linked to a large number of babies born with abnormally small heads, a condition known as microcephaly. Brazil, which has registered nearly 4,000 cases of babies suffering from microcephaly, has even warned pregnant women to stay away from the Rio Olympics, which begin in August.

Thailand on Tuesday confirmed its first domestic case of the Zika virus. Authorities said a 22-year-old Thai man is likely to have caught the same strain of the virus that has caused panic in countries such as Brazil and Colombia, reported AFP.