William & Mary

Informational Health Advisory

Dear students –

We have learned that one of our students apparently contracted the Zika virus while traveling in Central America over winter break. Our consultations with our own Health & Wellness team and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirm there is believed to be no health risk to anyone on campus.

It is our understanding that, thankfully, the student is expected to recover fully and is not currently experiencing symptoms. The purpose of this note is simply to provide facts about the virus and point you to resources should you have questions.

Certainly there has been a lot of recent news coverage about Zika virus. As you follow this coverage, do keep in mind these key facts about the virus:

  • Zika virus is primarily spread to people through mosquito bites.
  • Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
  • About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill.
  • Though the exact incubation period for the Zika virus disease is not known, researchers believe it to be a few days to a week.
  • There is not currently a vaccine for this virus.

If you have additional questions, a Q&A on the virus from the CDC may be found, here.

Nick Vasquez, the university’s international travel and security manager, is monitoring the situation closely and we stay current with any warnings regarding travel to the affected areas. The Reves Center posted some background and travel information yesterday. If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact me or the Health Center (757.221.4386).

Ginger Ambler
Vice President for Student Affairs