We have all been bitten by a mosquito, tick, or flea. According to a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), insect-borne illnesses have more than tripled from 2004 to 2016, and outdoor workers are at the greatest risk in the United States. More than 640,000 cases of insect-borne disease were reported between 2004 and 2016, and nine new diseases were discovered or introduced in the United States in that time.
Insect bites are vectors, or pinpoints, for spreading germs. If one person with a vectorborne disease gets bitten by a bug, and that bug then bites someone else, the disease can be transmitted.
Examples of insect-borne diseases include:
- Lyme Disease
- West Nile
- Yellow Fever
- Spotted Fever
The greatest defense against the threat of insect-borne diseases are federal, state, and local health departments. However, according to the CDC, a staggering 84 percent of local vector control organizations lack core competencies to perform their jobs effectively.
Signs and Symptoms of Insect-Borne Diseases
If you have been bitten by a bug and experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical treatment immediately:
- Body pain
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Stiff Neck
Preventing Stings, Bites, and Insect-Borne Illness
If you work outside, you are at a greater risk than anyone else in the American public for catching an insect-borne illness. Everyone should take precautions, but those who work outdoors should be extra vigilant.
To help reduce your chances of acquiring an insect-borne illness:
- Your clothes should cover as much of your body as possible
- Wear clean, light-colored clothing
- Keep work areas clean and free of open food and drink containers, as well as open trash
- Bathe daily
- Avoid cologne, perfume, deodorized soaps, heavily scented shampoos and deodorants
- Never swat at flying insects
- Check your skin every day for ticks
- Wear insect repellent with 20 to 50 percent DEET on all exposed areas of skin, as well as on your clothing and boots. Reapply frequently if needed.
Handling the Increased Threat of Insect-Borne Illness
According to the CDC, the United States is not equipped to handle the increase in new diseases and increased frequency of outbreaks. Local and state health departments are under increasing pressure to respond to these threats.
More than 80 percent of vector control organizations have self-reported that they need help in nearly all areas of core competence, including testing for pesticide resistance. They also need assistance in conducting routine mosquito surveillance through trapping and identification; making treatment decisions; and killing mosquitos and ticks at every life stage.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Workers with Insect-Borne Diseases
If you work outdoors and have been bitten by an insect that has caused you any type of health problem, you may be entitled to compensation via your employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance. To speak to an experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. about your case, call us today at 803-929-3600, or contact us online.
We provide free, no-obligation initial consultations to clients at our six office locations throughout South Carolina. We serve clients in the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.