Concerning the Zika Virus

Dear Members of the University at Albany Community,

Zika virus is a mosquito borne virus. Other mosquito borne viral infections include Chikungunya and Dengue. Zika is transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is also evidence that the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a travel alert to regions with ongoing Zika virus transmission, including Brazil, Columbia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Matrinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The CDC will update this travel notice as more information becomes available.

About one in five people infected with Zika virus become symptomatic. Symptoms of Zika are usually mild, lasting for a few days to a week, and may include sudden onset of fever, rash, joint pain, and pink eye. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is rare. No specific antiviral treatment is available and treatment includes rest, fluids and as needed Tylenol.

During the current outbreak in Brazil, Zika virus has been identified in infants with microcephaly (small heads). In addition, Guillain-Barre has been reported.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

• Anyone planning travel to areas where Zika virus is reported is encouraged to visit the CDC website above and learn more about Zika.
• Pregnant travelers to areas with Zika transmission should postpone their travel.
• Anyone traveling to areas with Zika transmission should take steps to prevent mosquito bites: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites

• Anyone returning from Zika affected areas, if sexually active, should use condoms for all sexual contact to decrease the risk of transmission to partners (more info here)

A guide to Zika virus from HTH Worldwide Insurance, the international insurance provider for most UAlbany programs, can be found here.

Questions regarding Zika virus can be directed to the UAlbany Health Center, the CDC, HTH Worldwide Insurance, or the Office of Education Abroad. Thank you.

The Office of Education Abroad
February 8, 2016