Steep Rise in Insect-Borne Illnesses Puts Workers at Risk
Illnesses on the Rise
Almost everyone has been bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea. These can be vectors for spreading pathogens (germs). A person who gets bitten by a vector and gets sick has a vector-borne disease, like dengue, Zika, Lyme, or plague. Between 2004 and 2016, more than 640,000 cases of these diseases were reported, and 9 new germs spread by bites from infected mosquitoes and ticks were discovered or introduced in the US.
State and local health departments and vector control organizations are the nation’s main defense against this increasing threat; however, 84% of local vector control organizations lack at least 1 of 5 core vector control competencies. Better control of mosquitoes and ticks is needed to protect people from these costly and deadly diseases.
Increasing Threat but Limited Capacity to respond
More cases in the US (2004-2016)
Local health departments and vector control organizations must be able to:
The Federal Government is
Anyone who is bitten by an infected tick is at risk of contracting a tick-borne disease. People who spend a lot of time outdoors, especially from April to September, have a greater risk of becoming infected. Most tick-borne diseases (Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and spotted fever group rickettsiosis) are caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. It’s important to check for symptoms if you’ve been bitten by a tick and talk to a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and medication, if needed. Early signs of tick-borne diseases can include skin rash, tiredness, fever/chills, headache, stiff neck, muscle aches, joint pain and/or dizziness. See tips below to prevent tick bites and tick-borne disease.
Visit http://www.nj.go/health/cd/topics/vectorborne.shtml for more information on vector- borne (mosquito, tick) diseases.
The International Safety Equipment Association has launched an initiative highlighting the importance of preventing hearing loss in the workplace – where, according to NIOSH, 22 million people are exposed to hazardous noise each year.
NIOSH’s recommended exposure limit for noise is a time-weighted average of 85 decibels over an 8-hour period. Permissible exposure time is cut in half for every 3 dB above 85 dBA.
Workers in industries such as grounds keeping routinely experience noise levels hovering around 85 dB.
The “Listen Today to Hear Tomorrow” campaign is designed to raise awareness of noise-induced occupational hearing loss. Through the campaign’s website, www.safetyequipment.org/hearing-protection, workers can request free earplugs and download mobile apps that calculate noise levels.
Permanent hearing loss is irreversible; however, it is usually preventable with proper hearing protection.
For more information, contact Statewide’s Edge at 732-446-5958.