As fear of the Zika virus spreads across the country, we are seeing more cases of infected individuals in the Tampa Bay area. The Zika virus can cause flu-like symptoms with fatigue, muscle ache, and body rash being trademark signs of the virus. While these symptoms may only last for a week, an infected individual is contagious for up to three months and the virus can linger in your body for a full year. The most worrisome aspect of this virus is the harm it can do to a fetus causing birth defects that affect brain development.

 

If you think you have the virus, it is imperative that you seek an evaluation from your doctor. Knowing you have the virus and ensuring that you do not spread the virus is important for containment. Just like AIDS, this virus can be spread through sexual transmission.

 

According to the Huffington Post, “people working in an environment where they are regularly exposed to the virus, such as hospital staff and medical personnel, may have a claim against their employer if they become infected with the Zika virus”.

 

Your employer is responsible for warning and training staff of any risks associated with their job. If your employer has not done this, you may have a case against them should you contract the virus. Worker safety is backed by  the federal government as standards in this country. While we are still learning more about what this virus means to individuals, we know that it is spreading in mosquito prone areas like Florida.

 

“There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission,” Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Dr. Peter Marks said. “At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”

 

The FDA is recommending that all blood banks add Zika testing.

 

Contracting the virus from a lover or friend, may also be cause to sue for damages.

 

Keep yourself safe from Zika:

-If traveling to a Zika prone area, formally voice concerns to your employer (especially if you are of child-bearing age)

-Empty standing water to avoid mosquito infestation

-Cover skin when on long hikes

-Contact city officials to ensure a pro-active approach to controlling mosquito population

-Wear bug spray to avoid mosquito bites

 

From the Palm Beach Post… The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves, the use of four mosquito repellants: DEET, picaridin, oil of eucalyptus and IR 3535. Of these, the American Association of Pediatrics has found that DEET in a 10-30 percent concentration, and picaridin in a 5-10 percent concentration, are safe to use on children. DEET in concentrations up to 30 percent, picaridin up to 10 percent and IR 3535 up to 20 percent, are safe for pregnant women and nursing mothers. The higher the concentration, the longer the product is effective. The CDC recommends using the lowest, but effective, concentration and reapply as needed.

Special considerations: Apply repellants on exposed skin only; never apply repellant over open cuts, wounds, or irritated skin. repellants are not safe for babies under 2 months; mosquito netting is available for strollers and cribs. Check with the American Association of Pediatrics to determine product safety.

 

For more information regarding your rights with the Zika virus, please call us.

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