UCF joins the Florida Department of Health in monitoring the status of the Zika virus, which is carried by mosquitoes.

There have recently been reported cases of the virus acquired in south Florida and continued cases of travelers from Florida acquiring the virus in other countries.

Common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, with conditions lasting up to a week. Brazil has reported an increase of birth defects related to the virus, and there are currently no vaccines or medicines to treat the disease.

The Health Department advises these precautions to reduce mosquito bites:

-Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from breeding

-Wear protective clothing when mosquitoes are present

-Cover doors and windows with screens

-Use Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellants, which are evaluated for safety and effectiveness

-Use a mosquito net when sleeping outside

-Treat clothing with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated items

Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should consider postponing travel to any area where the Zika-virus transmission is ongoing. If they must travel to one of these areas, they should talk to their doctor first and follow steps to prevent mosquito bites during the trip.

For more information on Zika, visit https://www.cdc.gov/zika/ or https://shs.sdes.ucf.edu/.

Anyone with additional questions may also call UCF Student Health Services at 407-823-0838.