Business Risk - The Zika Virus - Can It Affect My Business?
04 February 2016
If you have people working in, or travelling to and from South and Central American countries, SE Asia or some Pacific Islands, there is some risk of being bitten and infected by a certain type of mosquito which carries the virus. Please note a comprehensive list of countries with increased risk of the Zika Virus are listed here at smarttraveller.
The risk increases significantly for women who are pregnant or who may fall pregnant while exposed due to the as yet unconfirmed but suspected connection to birth defects in their babies.
There is no vaccine available to prevent infection. However the symptoms are not severe - anecdotally only about 1 in 5 will realise they have been infected. The main symptoms are mild - fever, joint pain and rashes - usually lasting about a week.
If your business has people working or travelling to countries where the virus is, there are some preventative measures available to prevent being bitten.
Use insect repellant.
Stay covered by wearing long sleeves and long pants etc.
Ideally stay indoors with air conditioning or places with screens on doors and windows.
Although the mosquito is most aggressive during the day, sleep under netting.
Ensure your travel insurance is up to date and covers exposure to viruses.
Business domiciled entirely in Australia probably does not have a risk exposure currently. There are concerns that the virus may spread to the northern parts of Australia in the future so it is prudent to stay informed.