Information on the Zika virus

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff who currently are abroad or who are planning travel during the upcoming spring break are advised to take precautions to limit exposure to the Zika virus.

An outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil last April has led to its spread to other areas of the world with tropical environments, including Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and other countries in South America. Symptoms usually are mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes), lasting several days to a week. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika, but those infected with the virus rarely require hospitalization.

Zika has been linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a travel advisory urging pregnant women and women attempting to become pregnant to avoid visiting locations where the virus is or could be circulating. The CDC also has issued guidance for men who are concerned about potential exposure of Zika to female partners who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Travelers can limit exposure to Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites .

Travelers with medical questions regarding Zika should consult University Health Services (631-7497) for students or the Wellness Center (634-9355) for faculty and staff. Other information on international travel considerations is available from Notre Dame International (631-1138).

February 2016