With all of the travel to and from Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games, a typically rare, unknown illness has come to the United States—the Zika virus. Typically found in isolated outbreaks in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific, Zika presents mildly in patients but with severe symptoms in the children of affected, pregnant women.
Unfortunately, Zika is transmitted primarily through mosquitoes, and now that travelers are coming back to the United States en masse from Brazil, the virus’ spread is a major risk. This risk is especially concerning for outdoor workers, who spend eight or more hours per day in the presence of mosquitoes. If you’re responsible for the health and safety of outdoor workers at your company, you need to understand as much as possible about this disease’s signs, symptoms and preventive measures.