The Zika virus is an unusual, harmful disease that first broke out in South America and has now spread into the United States. There have been reports of the Zika virus in every state (except for Alaska). Some of these states that have seen more than 100 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, including Florida, New York, Texas, and (yes) California. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 800 pregnant women in the United States are believed to have the Zika virus. Most people who have heard of the Zika virus know that it can be transmitted through mosquitos and has been linked to microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome in children.
Who is Responsible if I am Infected with Zika?
When we become ill, such as when we catch a cold or are stricken by the flu, we do not usually consider who is legally responsible for making us ill. In many cases, we conclude that we caught whatever illness we have because of being in proximity to an ill child or a sick coworker. Under California’s worker’s compensation law, though, becoming ill while “on the job” entitles you to worker’s compensation benefits. Supposing you were an arborist or groundskeeper and, while working, you were bitten by a mosquito and thereafter contracted the Zika virus, your medical expenses and lost wages would likely be covered under the state’s worker’s compensation laws.