Veterinary personal biosecurity & PPE

From Hendra virus to Q fever and Australian bat lyssavirus, Australian veterinary staff have an increased risk of contracting zoonotic infections due to their level of contact with sick animals.

The AVA's comprehensive resource on preventing zoonotic infections has been updated. It details the zoonotic diseases present in Australia, and how veterinary staff can incorporate routine procedures in their daily work that help keep them healthy and well.

The third edition of Guidelines for Veterinary Personal Biosecurity provides the latest information about infection control, how to deal with high risk situations, and is equally relevant to veterinary practices of all types.

New additions for the second edition include additional information about emerging threats such as Q fever and MRSA in veterinary settings (see Appendix 3). Content has been edited to communicate key messages more clearly, and resources produced that summarise the important points for small animal practice as well as large animal or mixed practice.

The guidelines include a modifiable Word document that can be used to create an individual infection control plan for every veterinary practice in Australia.

The handy resources provide simple graphical reference points for key infection control messages relevant to all veterinarians and veterinary personnel. Print them off, keep them handy and post them where everyone can see them!

Thank you to our sponsor Ceva Animal Health for supporting this project.

 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Equine Veterinarians

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is very important to ensure the safety of the veterinarians in the field. To facilitate this, the Equine Veterinarians Australia Group has produced two videos to assist equine veterinarians and their clinical staff.

The first video listed below is a collaborative work between Equine Veterinarians Australia and Work Health and Safety Queensland. 

It highlights that PPE is not an ‘all or nothing’ practice, rather a tier-based approach, that depends on the level of exposure risk expected and the individual case being examined. When choosing PPE, it is important that veterinarians consider all the risks, such as likely exposure to pathogens, heat stress, physical injury, exposure to chemicals etc. so that the safest options are chosen, given the circumstances encountered.

Equine Veterinarians Australia believes that the videos should be a mandatory viewing, as part of induction training in infection control and biosecurity, for all veterinarians and veterinary support staff, working at a clinic. It is important to keep detailed records of who has completed the training. Equine Veterinarians Australia strongly advises that when dealing with suspected Hendra cases, that the highest level of PPE is used, as is demonstrated in the second ‘Suit up’ video.