The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a new report saying that cases of insect-borne illness have more than tripled between 2004 and 2016. This should concern outdoor workers in Pennsylvania since they are among those singled out by the CDC as being at a particularly high risk for these illnesses.
In that 12-year period, there were over 640,000 cases of domestic diseases like Zika fever, dengue fever, plague and Lyme disease. The diseases are transmitted through mosquito, flea and tick bites, and the symptoms they give rise to include fever, rash, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, neck stiffness and even paralysis.
The CDC states that through commerce, insects are being transported around the country and across continents. This allows the insects to spread their germs to new places. Furthermore, the CDC faults 84 percent of health departments and vector control agencies with failing to follow five core contingencies. The organizations should conduct routine mosquito surveillance, source reduction and pesticide resistance testing. Mosquitoes and ticks should also be eliminated at every life stage.
For protection, workers are advised to wear clean, light-colored clothing and bathe daily. They should also know that insects are attracted to cologne, perfume and deodorant smells. Repellents with 20 to 50 percent DEET can help prevent bugs from biting.
When insect bites lead to a workplace illness, the victim can inform their employer that they will be filing for workers’ compensation benefits. So long as it can be proven that the injuries are work-related, the worker can be covered for medical expenses and lost wages. A lawyer could assist with the claim and even attend a hearing if the claim is denied. For more information call the Law Office of Deborah M. Truscello at 610-892-4940.