Working outside on a hot day means that workers have to contend with the heat and humidity. But they also have to contend with insects, which can be much more than a nuisance. In fact, some of them can cause very serious illnesses, such as Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus.
Illnesses such as Lyme Disease are transmitted to humans by bacteria from bites of infected deer ticks. Most victims will develop what is called a bull's eye rash. Other symptoms are very similar to the flu. These include fever, lymph node swelling, neck stiffness, fatigue, headaches, joint and muscle aches.
You risk of getting bitten is increased if your outdoor work involves construction, landscaping, forestry, farming, oil fields or parks and wildlife management. You can protect yourself with the following measures:
- Wear light colored clothing to enable you to see ticks more easily
- Wear long sleeves and tuck pants into boots
- Wear closed shoes or boots that completely cover your feet
- Wear a hat
- Use a tick repellant, but do not apply it to your face
- After work each day, take a shower
- Wash and dry your clothes at a high temperature
- Check your body regularly for ticks