The Florida Department of Health recently reported that it detected the presence of mosquitoes carrying dangerous viruses. The risks of mosquito bites are always higher during the summer months, and outdoor workers will be wise to take precautions. Although the workers’ compensation program of the state covers mosquito-related illnesses, prevention is crucial because bites by infected mosquitoes can cause death or long-term health consequences.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the mosquitoes carry the eastern equine encephalitis virus that causes brain swelling. The incubation period is four to 10 days, and symptoms like high fever, sudden headaches, vomiting and chills can indicate severe brain inflammation. At this stage, there is a risk of seizures, disorientation and coma. Authorities say one in three victims infected with this virus succumb to it.

Workers whose jobs have them working outside can take precautions because the most appropriate way to avoid mosquito bites is prevention. The first thing to do is to use insect repellent — applied after the application of sunscreen. It is also crucial to wear lightweight clothes to cover legs and arms and leave as little as possible skin exposed. Mosquitoes are more likely to be present in areas such as those where standing water is present.

Workers are advised to seek medical care as soon as any of the telltale symptoms appear. If the illness resulted from work-related exposure to mosquito bites, the Florida workers’ compensation system will cover the medical expenses and lost wages. Proving the condition to be work-related might be challenging, and for that reason, ill or injured workers often choose to use the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help them navigate the claims process.