However, the virus can cause severe complications in developing babies, such as microcephaly that may lead to death in some cases.
No local mosquito-borne Zika cases have been cited in North America, which is credited to winter months disrupting mosquito populations.
However, UNC students who plan on traveling abroad this summer to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America, South America, Carpe Verde, Singapore and certain Pacific Islands should be mindful of infected mosquitos. In summer 2018, there were 71 UNC students who traveled to South American countries affected by the Zika virus, although no students were infected, said Heather Ward, associate dean of UNC’s Study Abroad Office.
“We are always concerned about the risks to our students and faculty when they are traveling. This is why we continuously monitor disease outbreaks, political unrests, and natural disasters very closely in areas where our students and faculty will be,” Ward said.
UNC Global also encourages students traveling to countries affected by the Zika virus to “protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites” on its website.
Students studying abroad to affected countries this summer can protect themselves by wearing long pants, applying bug repellant, using condoms during sexual intercourse and sleeping in rooms with air conditioning and screened windows.