Emerging Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases

Emerging infectious diseases are those whose incidence in humans has increased in the past 2 decades or threaten to increase in the near future. These diseases, which respect no national boundaries, can challenge efforts to protect workers as prevention and control recommendations may not be immediately available. The occupational safety and health community can prepare for these unpredictable disease outbreaks and prevent disease transmission with these resources for protecting workers, particularly healthcare workers, nurses, doctors, and first responders.


Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola virus disease)
CDC is working with other U.S. government agencies, the World Health Organization, and other domestic and international partners in an international response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)
The NIOSH topic page for healthcare workers includes links to CDC information and guidelines on MERS.

Chikungunya Virus
CDC compilation of information and resources on the virus transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

Flu Viruses

H1N1 Influenza Virus (Swine Flu)
NIOSH provides technical guidance for workers and employers about preventing exposure and infection.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
NIOSH gives an overview and provides a compilation of resources on a virus that normally affects birds but can be transmitted to workers who are in contact with infected poultry.

Additional Resources

Considerations for Selecting Protective Clothing used in Healthcare for Protection against Microorganisms in Blood and Body Fluids
This document provides an overview of scientific evidence and information on national and international standards, test methods, and specifications for fluid-resistant and impermeable gowns and coveralls used in healthcare. This document focuses on selecting protective clothing primarily on the basis of their barrier properties. It does not address all aspects of garments related to their design, integrity, durability, comfort, and functionality.

Personal Protective Equipment for Emergency Responders
Resources for emergency responders including respirators, protective clothing, skin exposures and eye and hearing protection.

Respirator Users
Key resources, including training videos, for respirator users.

Healthcare Workers
NIOSH provides resources, tools and trainings for healthcare workers.

Eye Protection for Infection Control
Recommended protection for workers who face the risk of acquiring infectious diseases via ocular exposure.

Veterinary Healthcare Workers
Resources for veterinary medicine and animal care workers.

NIOSH Publications

NIOSH Alert: Protecting Poultry Workers from Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
Gripe Aviar En Español

NIOSH Fast Facts: Protecting Yourself from Ticks and Mosquitoes
Protéjase de los mosquitos y las garrapatas En Español

Page last reviewed: March 28, 2018