Zika virus – advice and guidance

The University has issued guidance to staff and students considering travel to areas affected by the Zika virus.

There is an ongoing outbreak of the Zika virus centred in Brazil, but also in many other countries in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and South East Asia. 

An emergency Committee convened by the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has agreed that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not scientifically proven[1]

Staff and students considering travel or visits to affected regions should ensure they are fully informed about Zika virus and other mosquito borne diseases. 

The UK government Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising that travellers who are pregnant should postpone all non essential travel to an area where active Zika virus transmission is being reported. It is advisable for all travellers (male or female) to take scrupulous mosquito avoidance and there is particular advice for those that are immunosuppressed.

All travellers should discuss their travel plans with their GP or Travel Health Clinic and read the updated links below regarding the virus.

For up-to-date advice visit the following websites:

Public Health England: Zika virus: updated guidance for pregnant women

WHO:  www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/en

FCO: www.gov.uk/guidance/zika-virus

[1] WHO situation report issued 5 February 2016 see www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/situation-report/en/

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