Key Worker Resources
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.
Which workers are at risk?
Information for all workers at risk is available at OSHA/NIOSH Interim Zika Guidance for Protecting Workers.
Workers at risk include:
- Outdoor workers who may be bitten by infected mosquitoes.
- U.S. businesses and business travelers who may travel to areas with Zika.
Laboratory workers who may work with potentially infected human samples, virus cultures, or arthropods.
- NIOSH fact sheet for healthcare and laboratory workers
Healthcare workers who may handle patients who are, or might be, infected with Zika virus. Standard precautions should be followed to prevent transmission.
- NIOSH fact sheet for healthcare and laboratory workers
- Cruise line workers who may work in or travel to areas with Zika.
What are the symptoms?
Most people with Zika do not become ill and may not realize they have been infected. If symptoms do occur, they most commonly
People usually do not get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they rarely die of Zika.
Where are workers at risk?
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 and Sexual Transmission
- 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.
Are pregnant women at special risk?
- 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.
CDC Zika Virus
About Zika virus, areas with Zika, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, transmission, surveillance, and more.
OSHA/NIOSH Interim Guidance for Protecting Workers from Occupational Exposure to Zika Virus
Provides employers and workers with information about preventing workplace exposure.
NIOSH Zika: Protecting Outdoor Workers
Fact sheet for outdoor workers.
NIOSH Zika: Protecting US Businesses and Business Travelers
Fact sheet for businesses and business travelers.
NIOSH Zika: Protecting Healthcare and Laboratory Workers
Fact sheet for healthcare and laboratory workers.
NIOSH Fact Sheet for Cruise Line Employees: Prevent Mosquito-borne Diseases
Fact sheet for cruise line workers.
NIOSH Poster for Cruise Line Employees: Prevent Mosquito Bites
Poster for cruise line workers.
NIOSH Science Blog:
Zika and Olympic Work
OSHA Zika Virus
Provides workplace information for employers and workers.
OSHA QuickCard: Zika Virus Protection for Outdoor Workers
Information for outdoor workers and employers in card format.
CDC Statement on Disinsection
CDC does not recommend the routine use of insecticides (disinsection) inside commercial passenger airplanes to prevent the spread of Zika virus.
NIOSH Aircraft Disinsection Information
Provides information about potential air and ground crew exposure to pesticides due to aircraft disinsection (applying pesticides to kill insects).
CDC Zika Virus – For Pregnant Women
Zika virus can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus and has been linked to a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly.
Biosafety Guidance for Transportation of Specimens and for Work with Zika Virus in the Laboratory
Provides laboratory safety recommendations for transport and handling of diagnostic specimens and laboratory work.
NIOSH Needlestick and Sharps Injuries Information: Bloodborne Infectious Diseases
Provides prevention, management, and emergency information for needlestick and sharps injuries.
CDC Zika Travel Information
Travel notices, information for travelers and clinicians.
CDC Zika Virus – Fact Sheets and Posters
Fact sheets and posters available as PDFs.
NIOSH Fast Facts: Protecting Yourself from Ticks and Mosquitoes
Print or order this free card for easy access to important safety information.
CDC Zika Virus – For Healthcare Providers
Provides information about clinical evaluation and testing.
MMWR Zika Reports
Comprehensive resource for CDC Zika reports.
World Health Organization Zika Virus
Provides global updates and recommendations.
- Page last reviewed: March 21, 2016
- Page last updated: November 21, 2016
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division