BVU Students traveling for spring break warned about Zika virus

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Madeleine McCormick | News Editor

Buena Vista University students planning spring break trips to Mexico are warned to be aware of a virus plaguing the area called “Zika.”

The Zika virus, which then leads to the Zika disease, carries symptoms of rash, fever, and joint pain, according to the CDC Traveler’s website. The virus transmits through Aedes mosquitoes, so travelers are encouraged to avoid and protect themselves from getting bitten.

There is no vaccination that can cure the Zika virus and Zika virus can most often be spread during the daytime.
BVU Director of Health Services and Wellness Tami Laursen recommends wearing long sleeved shirts and pants to protect from getting bitten as well as using EPA registered insect repellents.

Cases of this virus have been found in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and surrounding South American countries as well as multiple Caribbean islands such as: Aruba, Barbados, The Dominican Republic, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

BVU Senior Nick Clark, organized a trip for a group of his friends to Los Cabos, but does not see an issue with their trip and will continue on as planned.

“I am not too concerned about it but I am checking on it every week to make sure I will be okay,” Clark said.

Clark also mentioned that he and BVU junior Kennedy Drey will be traveling to Brazil Summer 2016 to play basketball for a team.

“I actually am going over to Brazil this summer for basketball with Kennedy, and the team we’re on has told us we shouldn’t have anything to really worry about. We as males don’t have as much to worry about, so they say. I’ve just heard that it’s troublesome for females who are pregnant or going to become pregnant in the next couple years. It’s really affecting the babies. With it being such a new virus they don’t know the long term affects yet either,” Clark said.

The Zika virus is especially dangerous for pregnant women because the disease can spread to her fetus and cause birth defects such as microcephaly; a defect that effects the brain development of the child and causes the head development to be much smaller than expected.

BVU sophomore Lindsay Meyer will also be attending the trip and says she also isn’t much concerned about the virus:

“I guess I hadn’t really thought about the Zika virus, but I’m really not too worried. We are staying at what seems to be a really nice, all-inclusive resort. But, again, I’m really not too concerned about it,” Meyer said.

Students traveling should take caution and according to the CDC, travelers should avoid mosquitoes as well as use protection if engaging in sex. The Zika virus can be transmitted sexually, so it is recommended that partners seek a healthcare professional before traveling to an area that has been affected by the virus.

For more information contact Tami Laursen at BV Health Services or at [email protected]

Graphic by Nic Gibson