McKinley Health Center has seen its first patient with Zika infection. It is important for members of the University Community to be aware of this infection. The Centers for Disease Control has a informative website dedicated to this topic; it can be found at

Because of the large number of our community who may have travelled to affected areas or are contemplating travel, it is likely that additional individuals among the University community will be exposed to the virus which causes Zika infection.

McKinley Health Center has a comprehensive screening method for detecting individuals who may be at risk for Zika infection. All patients at McKinley are asked about travel risk for exposure, and a special infection control team responds whenever a provider believes that infection may be present. In addition, a special lab test may be sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health for diagnostic confirmation, though it may take a week or more for McKinley to receive the test results.

When a patient at McKinley is suspected of having Zika infection the individual is given comprehensive information about mosquito control, mosquito transmission and sexual transmission. Prevention of spread through barrier protection for sexual contact and reduction of mosquito exposure is a key element for every suspected infection. Additionally the signs and symptoms of infection, as well as the risk of adverse effects on developing pregnancies are emphasized.

Students at the University of Illinois at Urbana are encouraged to see a provider at McKinley if they believe they may have been infected by the Zika virus. University faculty and staff are encouraged to see their primary care provider if infection is suspected.

Monday, August 15, 2016 - 14:00