Preventing Tick-borne Disease Exposure

In Connecticut, occupational exposure to tick-borne diseases is a recognized hazard. Outdoor workers must protect themselves in the spring, summer, and fall when ticks are most active.

School and Parks & Rec departments should be hyperaware of the danger to students and children participating in summer camp or other outdoor sports activities.

Those who are at particular risk include: 
– Parks and recreation employees,
– Public works employees,
– Summer camp counselors,
– Animal control officers,
– Athletic coaches and teachers, and
– Police officers and firefighters

Ticks in Connecticut can carry a variety of disease-causing agents, including bacteria, protozoa, rickettsia, and the rare but fatal Powassan Virus.

Tick-Borne Diseases Identified in Connecticut: 
– Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi),
– Human granulocytic anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum),
– Babesiosis (Babesia microti),
– Ehrlichiosis(Ehrlichia chaffeensis),
– Rocky Mountain spotted fever (Rickettsia rickettsii),
– Powassan encephalitis(POWV), and
– Hard-tick relapsing fever (Borrelia miyamotoi).

While the number of human cases of these diseases in Connecticut remains low, the infection may have serious consequences. Without preventive measures in tick-infested areas, contracting a tick-borne illness in Connecticut, particularly Lyme disease, is entirely plausible.

All public sector employees required to work in tick-infested areas should know how to protect themselves and their coworkers from tick bites and the signs and symptoms of Tick-borne Disease. For information on workplace controls and Lyme Disease symptoms, download NIOSH Fast Facts. In addition, CONN-OSHA’s Safety and Health Consultation Program is available to help Connecticut employers with this initiative.

Read more about this issue in the CONN-OSHA quarterly.

Download CIRMA’s Tail Gate topic on Ticks and Lyme Disease.

Access CIRMA’s online portal for more important employee training and education tools and resources on relevant seasonal topics.

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