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February 25, 2016

To:           UVM Campus Community

Fr:            UVM Emergency Operations Group

Re:           Health Precautions while Traveling

As Spring Break approaches, the University’s Emergency Operations Group continues to monitor developments related to the  Zika virus in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, some Pacific Islands, and Cape Verde.   A number of these areas are also affected by Chikungunya and Dengue. 

All three diseases are spread by mosquitos and can have serious health consequences. In addition to being spread by mosquitos, recent reports indicate the possibility of sexual transmission of the Zika virus.  Contracting the virus during pregnancy has been associated with a microcephaly as well as a number of other poor birth outcomes.  The CDC has advised women who are pregnant to postpone travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.  Women trying to become pregnant who plan travel to affected areas should consult with their medical provider regarding their travel plans. 

The CDC updates its travel alerts on Zika and other health threats to travel as necessary.  The University’s Emergency Operations Group strongly recommends that you review the information available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the prevention of mosquito bites.  Please check the CDC’s website for a broad range of up to date information about international travel.

Students who have questions about a risk of exposure to any of these diseases related to upcoming travel should contact Student Health Services at 656-3350.  Faculty and staff with these concerns should contact their primary medical provider.