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Office of Global Engagement

Update on Zika Virus

March 17, 2016

Brown University has been monitoring reports on the Zika virus in regions where its transmission is ongoing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions alert for individuals traveling to regions where Zika virus transmission is ongoing including Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Students planning travel to any of the affected regions should check Brown’s Health and Emergency Services for important updates prior to travel. Please also refer to their Facebook page for important travel preparation information, including Zika and its implications. 

The Zika virus is a mosquito-transmitted infection that typically causes mild symptoms including fever, rash, red eyes, and muscle aches in one out of five people. In addition, the Zika virus has been linked to increases in the occurrence of microcephaly, a serious birth defect that causes underdeveloped brains in infants. The CDC advises that pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant consider postponing their travel to these regions.

For the average traveler the risk of infection is similar to other vector-borne diseases in the region such as dengue or chikungunya and the best prevention is avoiding mosquito bites. However, information regarding the Zika virus continues to evolve. Therefore, if you are planning travel to affected regions, we encourage you to best prepare and protect yourself by reviewing details and precautions available via the following resources:

Resources for Protecting Yourself Against Mosquitos

Information on Other Mosquito-borne Diseases

Information on Zika:

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Brown’s Health and Emergency Services.