The following email was sent to the Johns Hopkins community on Jan. 20.
The university wants to ensure that you are aware that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a health advisory for Zika virus, a mosquito-borne viral disease that is usually mild or asymptomatic but has been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome and congenital malformations, including microcephaly.
Zika virus outbreaks have been reported in Africa, Asia, and some Pacific islands, and most recently in the Western Hemisphere, including Brazil and Puerto Rico.
The CDC's recommendations include:
+ Pregnant women and women who may become pregnant should consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.
+ All travelers should take steps to avoid mosquito bites to prevent Zika virus infection and other mosquito-borne diseases.
+ Zika virus infection should be considered in patients with acute fever, rash, arthralgia, or conjunctivitis who traveled to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission in the two weeks prior to onset of illness.
+ Health care providers should report suspected Zika virus disease cases to the local and state health departments to facilitate diagnosis and mitigate risk of local transmission.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene laboratories will facilitate Zika virus testing through the CDC when indicated.
Please see cdc.gov/zika for additional information on Zika virus and updated travel advisories.
Sincerely, Jonathan Links Vice Provost and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer