For several months the University of Miami has been actively engaged with its experts at UHealth-University of Miami Health System as well as public officials to ensure we have the latest information regarding the Zika virus and are taking any necessary steps to address this important concern.
In response to the Florida Department of Health's (FDOH) recent finding that cases of the virus were likely contracted through a mosquito bite in a one-square-mile area of Wynwood, a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, the University is escalating its proactive actions.
- The UM community is urged to adhere to the following personal protective action recommendations:
- Drain or report standing water where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
- Cover clothing and bare skin with EPA-registered insect repellent.
- Do not leave windows open, or cover with screens.
- Pregnant women:
- Obtain a Zika Virus Prevention Kit from FDOH by calling 305-324-2400.
- Avoid the Wynwood area, and refrain from travel to areas with widespread Zika transmission. Review the CDC Travel Restriction and Protective Action Guidance.
- If traveling to an area with widespread Zika transmission, ensure steps are taken to avoid mosquito bites and the potential for transmission through unprotected sexual intercourse.
- The UM Student Health Center has developed a webpage on the Zika virus: http://www.miami.edu/sa/index.php/student_health_center/general_information/zika_virus. UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine also have posted a webpage: uhealthsystem.com/zika-virus.
Many people who acquire the virus exhibit no symptoms at all; those who do have symptoms often have fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes) for several days. The real danger applies to pregnant women who acquire the virus. Zika has been linked to microcephaly (a serious birth defect in which babies are born with an unusually small head and underdeveloped brain) and problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth. Sexual transmission of the virus from men to women has been reported and represents another potential threat to women of childbearing age. Pregnant women, or those considering pregnancy, are strongly encouraged to review the CDC Zika Virus Information for Pregnant Women website.
Miami-Dade County Drain and Cover Zika Preparedness Page
Florida Department of Health - Zika Homepage
Centers for Disease Control - Zika Homepage
CDC Travel Guidance Related to Miami Neighborhood with Active Zika Spread
All members of the University community are strongly encouraged to follow the personal protective action recommendations detailed above. We will continue to keep you updated on this matter.