Infectious Diseases in the Workplace

It may be obvious when people get injured at work, but it may not always
be apparent when people acquire infections resulting from exposures at work. The
US-American National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently
published a study conducting a review of infectious disease investigations in
workplaces across the U.S. to better understand the range of cases, the risk
factors for workers, and the ways to prevent infectious disease transmission
on the job.

Experiences with anthrax, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), influenza A
(H1N1), the Ebola virus, and several other clusters of infectious diseases in
the workplace have highlighted the importance of focusing on workplaces not
only to identify at-risk populations but also to understand how diseases spread
and how they can be prevented.

Researchers illustrate several specific cases by providing examples of the
different ways a worker can get infected, and found that reported cases appear
to be concentrated in specific industries and occupations, especially the
healthcare industry and among laboratory workers, animal workers, and public
service workers. These include those who come in contact with ill persons or
with livestock, poultry, or other animals as part of their job. In addition to
becoming infected themselves, some workers may also serve as vectors that
spread the disease to others; for example, workers in food preparation and
serving-related occupations have been identified as sources of transmission in
foodborne outbreaks.

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)