Good health habits are an important way to help prevent the flu:

  • Clean your hands often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose  when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact. When you are sick, stay home if possible, keep your distance from others.

For more information check the CDC website.

Zika Virus

CDC Guidance for University and Colleges: Zika Topics to update students and staff/faculty

College and university administrators should pay particular attention to issues relevant to students in this age group, including sexual transmission, guidance for pregnant women and their male sexual partners, and travel advisories.

Zika Update 9/2016

What is Zika?
Zika Podcast: CDC Zika Update: What is Zika?

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and an estimated 80% of persons infected with Zika virus are asymptomatic. Symptomatic disease is generally mild, with symptoms of fever, skin rash, joint pain, headache or nonpurulent conjunctivitis (red eyes) that typically last from several days to one week.

Zika Podcast: CDC Zika Update: Zika Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Sporadic cases and outbreaks of Zika virus disease have occurred in countries in Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2015, the first local Zika virus transmission in the Americas was reported in Brazil and local transmission has now been in several countries or territories in the Americas. The Florida Department of Health has identified two areas of Miami-Dade County where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. In addition to the previously identified area in the Wynwood neighborhood, there is now mosquito-borne spread of Zika virus in a section of Miami Beach.

In the current outbreak in Brazil, a marked increase in the number of infants born with microcephaly has been reported and Zika virus infections have been confirmed in some infants with microcephaly. However, it is not known how many of the microcephaly cases are associated with Zika virus infection. Travelers to areas with ongoing outbreaks are at risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus to new areas, including the continental United States

CDC webpage: Transmission and Risks

  • A pregnant woman can pass Zika virus to her fetus during pregnancy. Zika is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. We are studying the full range of other potential health problemthat Zika virus infection during pregnancy may cause.
  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her partners. Zika can be passed through sex, even if the infected person does not have symptoms at the time.
  • To date, there have not been any confirmed blood transfusion transmission cases in the United States.
  • Anyone who lives in or travels to an area where Zika virus is found and has not already been infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections

CDC webpage: Prevention

Pregnancy and Zika virus
CDC Podcast: What Pregnant Women Need to Know
CDC webpage: Pregnancy

Travel and Zika virus
CDC webpage: Advice For People Living in or Traveling to South Florida
CDC webpage: Areas with Zika

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is found in many areas of New England and has now spread to Maine. This is a potentially debilitating disease spread by deer ticks. More information on this disease can be obtained from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a disease that can lead to an infection called encephalitis (swelling of the brain). West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most mosquito bites do not lead to West Nile Virus because very few mosquitoes are infected. However, people over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for serious illness from West Nile Virus infection. More information can be obtained from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Rabies/Animal Bites

If you or someone else has been bitten by a wild or domestic animal, report the incident immediately to UMaine Police Department at 911. Identify the animal by kind, size, color and place the animal was last seen. Medical attention needs to be obtained immediately and follow ups must be conducted to ensure the safety of faculty, staff and students.

Suspicious Animal Behavior
Animals exhibiting aggressive behavior or if you suspect an animal has rabies. Symptoms of rabies may include: an animal that is obviously sick; is exhibiting unusual behavior; or has died under mysterious circumstances. Do not move or otherwise touch the animal. Notify the UMaine Police Department by calling 911.

Human Bodily Fluids

If you discover what you suspect is blood or other bodily fluids:

  • Don’t touch it.
  • Keep others away.
  • Call 911 and report the incident, they can dispatch people who are trained to decontaminate the area.
  • Do not clean blood or other bodily fluids unless you have proper PPE and have completed your annual BBP training.