Mosquito-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.
Employers should protect workers and workers should protect themselves from diseases spread by mosquitoes. Although people may not become sick after a bite from an infected mosquito, some people have a mild, short-term illness or (rarely) severe or long-term illness. Severe cases of mosquito-borne diseases can cause death.
Workers at Risk
Workers are at risk when they are working where mosquitoes are biting. Different species of mosquitoes are found in varying geographic locations, are most active at different times, and spread different diseases. The risk to workers varies with where they are working in Africa or elsewhere, type of habitat at the work site, season, and time of day.
Workers at risk include:
- Outdoor workers.
- Business travelers who may travel to areas with mosquito-borne diseases.
- Laboratory workers who may work with potentially infected samples, cultures, or arthropods.
- Healthcare workers who may handle patients who are, or might be infected with certain .
mosquito-borne diseases. Transmission may occur through a break in their skin or via a sharp penetration injury.
- Some mosquitoes lay eggs in or near standing water. Decrease the numbers of mosquitoes at worksites by:
- Removing, turning over, covering, or storing equipment.
- Removing debris from ditches.
- Filling in ruts and other areas that collect standing water.
- Removing tires, buckets, bottles, and barrels that collect water.
- Placing drain holes in containers that collect water and cannot be discarded.
- Keep mosquitoes outside by ensuring that doors and windows have screens and are kept closed when possible.
- Provide training about:
- The risk of mosquito bites and how to prevent them.
- Symptoms of mosquito-borne diseases.
- The safe use of insect repellents.
- Provide workers with, and encourage them to wear, clothing that covers theirs hands, arms, legs, and other exposed skin. Consider providing hats with mosquito netting to protect the face and neck.