UNC Health Talk

Chancellor to hold Zika awareness event for UNC campus community

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt will host a Zika awareness event for the campus community next week. Slated for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Carolina Union, the Zika awareness events is for UNC students, faculty and staff.

Folt will moderate an expert panel on Zika research and prevention from noon to 12:20 p.m. Speakers include Aravinda de Silva, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Randall Williams, state health director with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); and Orange County Health Director Collen Bridger.

Williams will address what is being done in North Carolina to prepare for and respond to Zika. Fifteen cases of Zika have been reported to state health authorities, all of which were travel-related cases, according to DHHS. Bridger will discuss important facts to know about Zika and its transmission, while de Silva will discuss the epidemiology of the mosquito-borne virus, as well as current Zika research being done at UNC School of Medicine.

There are more than 10 groups at UNC working on Zika research and response. Just this month, the UNC School of Medicine internally funded three $50,000 pilot grants to research Zika’s diagnostics, transmission, and associated neurological disorders.

After the panel discussion, health officials will be on hand to discuss travel advisories for countries that have reported mosquito-transmission of Zika, how to keep homes and yards safe from mosquitoes, how to properly apply mosquito repellent, and how to report standing water on campus.