Outdoor workers and the Zika virus
Outdoor workers in areas with large populations of those mosquitoes should take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is working to ensure people living and working in areas where Zika is spreading or in areas where Zika could spread through the local mosquito population know how to protect themselves from infection.
Although the only confirmed cases of local transmission (not travel-related) have been in South Florida, many areas in the United States have the types of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus.
Workers in high-risk areas should:
- Cover up (wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants) and use an EPA-registered insect repellent every day.
- Dump standing water around the worksite. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, barrels, or trash containers.
- Use an outdoor insect spray made to kill mosquitoes in areas where they rest.
- Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.
Workers should also talk to their supervisors about how to any outdoor work assignment(s) or travel to areas with Zika.
More information about the steps everyone can take to prevent the spread of Zika virus can be found here.