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Zika Virus At A Glance

Zika Virus Mosquito

Tarleton 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 which has recently been reported in the news. In May 2015, the PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) issued an alert regarding the first case of Zika virus in Brazil last April and 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. 

In response to the alert the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) issued travel notices for people traveling to regions and certain countries where the Zika transmission is ongoing.

The CDC does recommend special precautions for pregnant women because it has been linked to birth defects:

Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.

Women trying to become pregnant or who are thinking about becoming pregnant should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to these areas and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

Learn how to prevent contracting the Zika virus.

For more information on the Zika Virus, visit the CDC website.

Your source for the latest news, expert insight and up-to-date info on the Zika virus. Get in on the conversation with #Zika360.The Texas A&M University System is leading a special task force, looking at the Zika virus from the perspective of education and/or actions we need to take on behalf of faculty, staff and students. As part of this committee, the Texas A&M Health Science Center created an online Zika informational hub, Zika360, as a resource to share pertinent information with faculty, staff and students.

Zika360 experts, ranging from epidemiologists to entomologists, sift through the clutter and provide you with answers to the most asked Zika questions. We have a pulse on the latest, breaking Zika news around the globe and synthesize it in an easy-to-digest format. 

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How is Zika transmitted?

Zika is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that spread Chikungunya and dengue. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and they can also bite at night. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. It can also be sexually transmitted and through blood transfusion as well as transmitted from a pregnant mother to her fetus during pregnancy or around the time of birth. 

What are the symptoms of Zika?

About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika will get sick. For people who get sick, the illness is usually mild. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms typically begin 2 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

What should I do if I have symptoms associated with Zika Virus?
  • Students should call Student Health Services at 254-968-9271, email Director Bridgette Bednarz, or call their personal physician.
  • Faculty and staff members should call their physician or health care provider.
  • Remain at home and avoid traveling to campus or to a health care facility until you receive further guidance to minimize risk to others.
  • Standard University procedures for employee and student absences will be followed once you are cleared to return to work or class.