You may be considering travelling to an area that is affected by Zika. If so, the most current information regarding areas affected and prevention can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. 

To highlight some key facts:

  • Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, through sexual contact, or from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Zika IS NOT passed directly from person to person through casual contact.
  • The best way to prevent Zika is to practice mosquito bite prevention when travelling to affected areas.
  • For most people, Zika virus infection will not cause symptoms. If symptoms occur, they are most commonly fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).
  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy is associated with certain birth defects; therefore it’s very important for pregnant women, women trying to conceive, and their male sexual partners to avoid exposure to Zika.
  • If you suspect that you may have Zika upon return from an affected area, it’s recommended that you see a health care provider to determine if testing is needed. Students are encouraged to see a provider at the Student Health Center. University faculty and staff are encouraged to see their primary care provider.
  • If someone has Zika, it’s important to prevent transmitting it to others by not having sex or using condoms. Condoms are effective when used start to finish with every vaginal, anal, and oral sex contact. Reduce your exposure to mosquitos to decrease the risk of spreading it.

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Remember, reading about a condition is no substitute for getting expert advice from a medical professional. If you have symptoms that worry you, schedule an appointment at the Student Health Center.