USF World News

Zika Virus Update

TAMPA, Fla. (March 7, 2016) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Travel Alert (Practice Enhanced Precautions) for all travelers to the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South America due to ongoing transmission of the Zika Virus through mosquito bites in numerous countries in the above regions. For a list of Zika-affected countries visit:

According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus will become ill. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis, muscle pain, and headache. Symptoms usually last up to a week. Infection with the Zika virus usually does not require hospitalization and deaths from this virus are rare. There are no vaccines or medication to prevent this virus. All persons traveling to these areas are strongly encouraged to exercise standard precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby causing significant neurological birth defects and other poor pregnancy outcomes. The CDC is recommending that women who are pregnant in any trimester consider postponing travel to countries where Zika virus is present. If travel cannot be postponed, the CDC is recommending that pregnant women talk to your doctor first and strictly follow the CDC's guidelines to prevent mosquito bites.

Any woman who is pregnant or thinks she may be pregnant, traveled to the above regions, and has experienced the above symptoms is strongly recommended to contact their physician for further consultation.

If you have further question regarding the Zika virus or other medical concerns regarding traveling outside of the US, contact Student Health Services Travel Clinic at (813) 974-2331.

For more information about the Zika virus in Hillsborough County, click here.
For more information on Mosquito Bite Prevention for Travelers, click here.