Communicable diseases are generally not compensable where the risk of contracting the disease is no greater for the employee than it is for the public at large. KRS 342.0011(1). If, on the other hand, the employee is at a greater risk of contracting the disease because of his or her work, the employer may be liable for benefits. See id.
As one example of work-related conditions resulting in compensable disease, where an employee is exposed to the cold and damp to a greater degree than the general public, pneumonia may be a compensable communicable disease. Dealers Transport Co. v. Thompson, 593 S.W.2d 84 (Ky. Ct. App. 1979). As the Court of Appeals explained in Dealers Transport, pneumonia is compensable as a work-related injury among dock workers “for the simple reason that the general public was not working on a loading dock . . . in cold and damp December weather.” Id. at 89.