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April 26, 2016
CDC, OSHA issue interim guidance to protect health care workers from occupational exposure to Zika virus
ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued new guidance and information for employers and workers to protect against an occupational exposure to Zika virus.
The interim guidance is for health care and laboratory workers, mosquito control and other outdoor workers and business travelers to protect against occupational exposure to Zika virus. Health care workers, who may be exposed to contaminated blood or other potentially infectious materials from people infected with Zika virus, may require additional protection.
Zika virus is primarily spread by infected mosquitoes, exposure to an infected person’s blood or other body fluids may also result in transmission. Although there are no reports of transmission of Zika virus from infected patients to health care personnel or other patients, minimizing exposure to body fluids is important to reduce the possibility of such transmission. Standard Precautions are recommended in all health care settings to protect both health care personnel and patients from infection with Zika virus as well as from bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and hepatitis C.
The specific CDC and OSHA guidance for health care and laboratory workers includes the following:
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes. There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection and there is no specific treatment for people who become infected.
CDC will continue to update this guidance as new information related to Zika virus transmission and related health effects becomes available, based on the accumulating evidence, expert opinion, and knowledge about the risk associated with other viral infections.