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Zika Virus

This 2006 photograph depicted a female Aedes aegypti mosquito while she was in the process of acquiring a blood meal from her human host, who in this instance, was actually the biomedical photographer, James Gathany

Protecting workers from mosquito bites can prevent diseases.

Zika virus disease (Zika) is caused by the Zika virus and is spread to people primarily from the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite most actively in the daytime but also bite at night. There is currently no vaccine to prevent Zika infection.

NIOSH and OSHA developed guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to Zika virus. NIOSH has also developed fact sheets for outdoor workers, U.S. businesses and business travelers, healthcare and laboratory workers, and a fact sheet and poster for cruise ship workers. For updated Zika information visit CDC Zika.

Information for all workers at risk is available at OSHA/NIOSH Interim Zika Guidance for Protecting Workers.

Workers at risk include:

Most people with Zika do not become ill and may not realize they have been infected. If symptoms do occur, they most commonly

  • Include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes
  • Are mild
  • Appear 3 to 12 days after the mosquito bite
  • Last a few days to a week

People usually do not get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they rarely die of Zika.

Workers at risk include those who work in or travel to areas with Zika . Local transmission of Zika virus has been reported in two areas of Miami, Florida, three U.S. territories: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, and multiple countries. For the most current information about where Zika is found, visit the CDC Areas with Zika and Zika Travel Information.

Those who work or travel in an area with Zika should take steps to prevent Zika.

  • Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners.
  • Zika can be passed through sex, even if the person does not have symptoms at the time.
  • For additional updated information visit CDC Zika and Sexual Transmission.
  • Zika infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.
  • Pregnant women should NOT travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission.
  • Pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and people with sexual partners who are or may become pregnant should talk to their healthcare providers about the risk of Zika.
  • For additional updated information visit CDC Zika pregnancy.
USAID Zika Grand Challenge for Development

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched “Combating Zika and Future Threats: A Grand Challenge for Development” to encourage ideas and innovations to help reduce the spread and impact of Zika virus and other infectious disease outbreaks. Results of the Grand Challenge are available.