Skip to main content
For information on how to prevent the spread of Norovirus please visit the CDC website for Preventing Norovirus Infection.
Get information and resources about bed bugs at the CDC website’s bed bug page.

Important Travel Warning Information: Outbreak of Ebola in Guinea and Sierra Leone

Monday, August 10, 2015

There have been recent outbreaks of communicable diseases in other parts of the world including Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria as well as increased cases of a new and serious respiratory virus known as MERS or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome. Persons returning from an affected area should monitor their health and if feeling sick contact their health provider. Students, Fellows and Scholars should contact Campus Health at 919-966-2281 and ask to speak with a Registered Nurse. More contact information for Campus Health. Employees should contact the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC) 919-966-9119. Regardless, any traveler who becomes ill, even if only a fever, should consult a health-care provider immediately and tell him or her about their recent travel and potential contacts.

UNC has a very important policy guiding all travel by UNC students, staff and faculty. See more on the UNC Global Travel Info Page.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a Level 3 Travel Warningadvising against nonessential travel to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. In addition, the CDC is continuing its screening and education efforts on the ground to prevent sick passengers from traveling from the affected countries.

The University endeavors to balance the value of participation in international educational activities against the potential risk to its students and employees of such participation. In balancing these factors, the University relies on information from the U.S. Department of State, most particularly the Travel Warnings issued periodically by that agency, and information in the Travel Notices issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Consequently, the University has developed the policy below that governs educational and other activities in countries for which the Department of State has issued a Travel Warning and countries for which the Centers for Disease Control has issued a Travel Notice.

Print this Handwashing Campaign Poster and post it to provide information about washing your hands.
Use the following resources to get information on who is at risk and how to treat head lice.

Use the following resources to get tips and information to avoid heat stress during the summer months.

Staphylococcus aureus are bacteria commonly found on the skin of healthy people. S. aureus is a common cause of skin infections. Most of these skin infections are minor (such as pimples and boils) but some can be serious (such as surgical wound infections, bloodstream infections, and pneumonia). Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics such as methicillin, oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

MRSA infections in the community are usually skin infections, such as pimples and boils, and occur in otherwise healthy people. In the outbreaks of MRSA, the environment (i.e. surfaces) has not played a significant role in the transmission of MRSA. MRSA is transmitted most frequently by direct skin-to-skin contact. You can prevent MRSA skin infections by practicing good hygiene:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed.
  3. Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages.
  4. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has excellent information about MRSA. Visit the CDC’s main MRSA website or their website with information about community acquired MRSA.

NIOSH has posted a new web page with information and recommendations to help employers and workers address workplace concerns associated with MRSA.

January 22, 2020: A UNC-Chapel Hill student has a confirmed case of the mumps. The dates the student may have been infectious were Jan. 11 through Jan. 18. The risk to the general population of contracting mumps from this student is low.

About Mumps: Mumps is a viral illness with symptoms that may include low-grade fever, muscle aches, unusual tiredness, loss of appetite, headache, swelling of the face, on either side or both sides, in front or below the ear or jaw. Though medical complications can occur, most people fully recover from mumps.

How Mumps is spread: Mumps is spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets (from coughing and sneezing) and saliva from an infected person. Symptoms usually begin 16-18 days after exposure, but the range can be as short as 14 days and as long as 25 days from the exposure. People with mumps are most infectious 2 days before their symptoms begin but may be infectious as much as 7 days before onset of symptoms.

What you can do:
Symptoms usually begin 16-18 days after exposure, but the range can be as short as 14 days and as long as 25 days from the exposure. People with mumps are most infectious two days before their symptoms begin but may be infectious up to seven days before onset of symptoms.

If you develop symptoms of mumps, (especially facial swelling on one or both sides), you should stay home, away from others, and call Campus Health at 919-966-6603 (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 919-966-6573 (Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), the University Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 919-966-9119 or your healthcare provider prior to visiting the clinic.

If you were born before 1957 you are likely immune to mumps and do not need additional evidence of immunity. People in this age group have likely had mumps in childhood.

For additional information, please visit the CDC website.

Rabies, which can infect and be transmitted by any mammal, has moved rapidly into the area’s wild animal population in recent years. In 2002 there were 323 confirmed cases of rabies in North Carolina compared to 106 cases in 1993. In Orange County, there were 15 cases (13 in raccoons, 1 in a bat, and 1 in a fox) in 2002.

Students, employees and others on campus need to be aware of the epidemic and take precautions against infection and know what to do if they see a suspicious animal or come into contact with one. Anyone who sees an animal displaying the symptoms of rabies should call the Department of Public Safety by dialing 911.

Common signs of rabies in animals include the following behaviors:

  • Daytime activity in animals normally active at night.
  • Staggering, weakness and paralysis.
  • A change in the animal’s voice.
  • Inability or reluctance to eat or drink.
  • Drooling or frothing at the mouth.
  • Convulsions.

Rabies is a disease, caused by a virus, which can infect all mammals, including humans. It is transmitted through contact with the saliva or nervous tissue of an infectious animal – usually through a bite. Rabies can also be passed by scratches from an infected animal or when infected saliva or brain tissue comes into contact with open wounds or breaks in the skin or mucous membranes.

If an exposed person or animal is not treated quickly, the virus may infect the person or animal and may result in death. Although the annual rabies death rate in the United States is very low, many of those deaths result from bat bites because such bites may not be noticeable. If you find a bat near a young child, a pet or person who is asleep or intoxicated, call 911 so the bat can be captured and tested. Anyone who might have been exposed should seek immediate medical attention.

If you are bitten, scratched or come into contact with any animal you suspect may be rabid, in addition to contacting public safety or other emergency personnel, it is important to act quickly to prevent contracting the disease.

According to guidelines established by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash the wound as soon as possible for at least 10 minutes with soap and warm running water and contact a doctor immediately.

Students should go to the Student Health Service. University employees on duty should go to theUniversity Employee Occupational Health Clinic at 145 N. Medical Drive. Except on holidays, the clinic is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Employees working during shifts when the clinic is closed should follow procedures established by their department.

If exposed while off-duty, employees should call their family doctor or go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

For more health information, please visit the Orange County Health Department.

For information about shingles, please visit the CDC website.
Read about UNC-Chapel Hill’s Plan for minimizing the risk of West Nile Virus to students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Learn more about Pertussis (Whooping Cough) with the CDC Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases Pertussis (Whooping Cough) document.