Is the Zika virus a threat at work?

Is it possible to do your job the best way you possibly can when you are also putting your health at risk?

The Zika virus during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other brain abnormalities. This disease can be transmitted through a mosquito bite, blood transfusion, sexual contact and from a mother to child.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of May 2016, 157 women in the United States have shown signs of possible Zika infection in lab tests.

LaToya Bradley is a nursing student and also works at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. She knows the risks her job presents and has never thought twice about abandoning her career. But the cases of Zika virus in the United States have made her more aware.

“It makes me take more precaution and to make sure that I’m always using universal precautions such as my personal protective wear, gloves, gowns, goggles and mask,” said Bradley. “But it doesn’t steer me away from the nursing field.”

Bradley also said that many times she doesn’t know what disease a patient may have until their visit is over.

There is no vaccine to prevent the Zika virus but one major way to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you’re overseas and use Environmental Protection Agency registered insect repellents, according to the CDC.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, employees who conduct business in infected countries only need to be wary of workplaces near standing water, where mosquitoes gather. Women of childbearing age should also be careful when traveling overseas.

There are several safety measures that can protect your business. Clements Worldwide is an insurance company that provides clients with life and health and specialty and high-risk insurance to clients. Clements offers suggestions for companies and its employees.

Educate employees so they know about the virus and so they can protect themselves if they have to travel. Review the risk management plan to know what to do in case something happens. Pay attention to the news to see if there are any new developments. Lastly, get insurance, employees will be protected if they get the virus.