Disease cases due to bites from mosquitos, ticks and flea bites more than tripled from 2004-2016 in the U.S., according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. Outdoor workers are at higher risk for serious health problems from these insect bites.
The CDC stated that cases of serious domestic diseases, such as dengue fever, Zika, Lyme and plague occurred more than 640,000 times in this time period. The CDC notes that state and local health departments, as well as vector control organizations, are the major defense against spread of these diseases. But it noted as well that 84% of these organizations lack vital core competencies to reduce incidence of disease:
- Regular mosquito surveillance with standard trapping and species identification
- Treatment decisions that are made from surveillance data
- Killing mosquitoes and ticks at all life stages
- Regular vector control work, such as reduction of sources and management of the local environment
- Testing of pesticide resistance.
The risk for diseases borne by insects can increase as U.S. commerce moves the insects from one area of the country to another and around the world. Ticks and mosquitoes often transport germs, and infected travelers may introduce these germs and spread them.
It is important for all Americans, especially outdoor workers, to be aware of symptoms of insect-borne disease:
- Body, muscle and joint pain
- Stiff neck
CDC also offers these helpful tips to prevent stings and bites from dangerous insects:
- Wear light and clean clothes that cover as much of your body as you can.
- Bathe each day, and do not use cologne, perfume or perfumed soaps.
- Keep work areas clean. If you are an employer and you have outside employees, it is your responsibility to ensure that all work areas are clean and are not an attractant for dangerous insects.
- Keep calm when you are around flying insects, as swatting makes them more likely to sting.
- Check your skin and clothes each day for ticks. They are common at worksites in bushes, woods, leaf litter and high grass.
- Spray your skin and clothes with an insect repellant that has 20% to 50% DEET and reapply often.
Injuries On the Job
Any worker who is injured on the job in Georgia should remember that they may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you are working at an outdoor job site and you are bitten by a tick or other insect that leads to a serious illness, this could be actionable under the state workers’ compensation law.
Note that there is no requirement that you prove a violation of safety standards to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to receive compensation for your medical expenses and at least part of your lost wages.
Hurt on the Job? Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today.
In this state, if you miss at least seven days of work due to a workplace injury, you should be compensated with at least 2/3 of your average weekly pay. If you or a loved one has suffered an on-the-job injury, contact The Mann Law Firm today for a free consultation.