If the campuswide siren sounds, do the following:
- Check your cell phone for a text message
- Check UMaine.edu for emergency information
- Check your email
If those options are not available, call 581.INFO (581.4636) to listen to a recorded message with more information.
Spring 2016 public health information
Cutler Health Center at the University of Maine is prepared to manage the seasonal flu inquiries in the UMaine community. For more information, call 581.4000.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website is the best source of the latest information on the zika virus.
The single best way to prevent seasonal influenza is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. Flu activity most often peaks in February and can last into May. It is not too late to get your flu vaccine this season. Contact your health care provider for further information on availability of flu vaccination.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
More information is online (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
General Information from CDC:
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Local transmission of Zika virus has not been documented in the continental United States. However, Zika virus infections have been reported in travelers returning to the United States. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika virus disease cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States likely will increase. (Areas With Zika: cdc.gov/zika/geo/index.html)
Prevention when Traveling to Areas with Active Zika Outbreak
All travelers should take steps to avoid mosquito bites to prevent Zika virus infection and other mosquito-borne diseases.
- No vaccine or preventive drug is available. The best way to prevent Zika virus infection is to:
- Avoid mosquito bites.
- Use air conditioning or window and door screens when indoors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants, and use insect repellents when outdoors. Most repellents, including DEET, can be used on children older than two months. Pregnant and lactating women can use all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents, including DEET, according to the product label.
Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to the areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. Pregnant women who do travel to one of these areas should talk to their doctor or other healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to avoid mosquito bites during the trip.
More information is online (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — Zika Virus; CDC — Zika Virus Prevention).
Message to students from the Student Wellness Resource Center, Division of Student Life
If you are traveling for Spring Break 2016 and are concerned about the Zika virus warnings, you can find information and resources below:
What is Zika?
Zika is a disease caused by Zika virus that is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
What areas of the world are affected:
Follow this link to see a map of the areas where Zika has been found: Areas with Zika (CDC)
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Source: Zika Virus (CDC)
What can travelers do to prevent Zika?
There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
- When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses spread by mosquitoes are found, take the following steps:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. All EPA-registered insect repellents are evaluated for effectiveness. Always follow the product label instructions. Reapply insect repellent as directed.
- Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent. If you have a baby or child: Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
- Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs, or
- Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
- Do not apply insect repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.
- Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face. -Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated items. Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See product information to learn how long the protection will last.
- If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
Do NOT use permethrin products directly on skin. They are intended to treat clothing.
Source: Zika Virus: Prevention (CDC)
How is it transmitted:
- Through mosquito bites
- Rarely, from mother to child
- Through infected blood or sexual contact
Source: Zika Virus: Transmission (CDC)
ARTICLE – A to Zika: Everything you need to know about Zika Virus (iJET International, January 2016)
INFOGRAPHIC VIDEO – Zika Virus: What to Know Before You Go? (iJET International, January 2016)
WEBINAR – Emerging Zika Virus Update (iJET International, January 2016)