Zoonosis: A disease of humans acquired from an animal.
Wash your hands
The most common way to develop a zoonotic infection is to place the
infectious material directly in your own mouth. Always wash your hands
after handling an animal or anything that the animal has touched. Never
smoke, drink, or eat in the animal room or before washing your hands.
Wear Protective Clothing
Wear protective clothing when working with animals. For some workers,
protective clothing will consist of a lab coat; for others it may be
a dedicated set of work clothing. Protective clothing must be laundered
either at the research facility or by a commercial laundry service.
Never take protective clothing home with you. Protective clothing insures
that you won't bring potentially contaminated material home with you.
Use Personal Protective Devices
Some types of work require personal protective devices such as disposable
gloves, face shields, masks, respirators, etc. Always use the protective
devices where required, and follow your supervisor's instructions scrupulously.
For information on wearing respirators contract Environmental Health
and Safety at 515-6862.
Seek Medical Attention Promptly
If you are injured on the job, you must promptly report the accident
to your supervisor or instructor, even if it seems relatively minor.
Injured students, who are not employed, may contact Student Health Services
at 515-2563 or go to the nearest emergency department. Students who
are paid are considered to be employees and should seek medical attention
at an authorized emergency medical center. Please refer to Occupational
Accients, Illness, and Reports site for instructions on completing
required forms and a list of approved emergency care centers. For medical
advice employees may contact Student Health services at 513-2563; please
be sure to state that you have an occupational medicine question. For
questions concerning safety, employees may contact EHSC at 515-6862.
First aid kits must be available to students and employees at all times. Kits
must include alcohol or tincture of iodine, saline solution for eye
cleansing, and bandages. Waterless soaps should always be carried out
in the field. Supervisors or faculty must arrange to transport sick
or injured person to the appropriate clinic or hospital depending on
the severity of the injury or illness. Telephone numbers for medical
facilities must be posted near telephones to ensure those needing emergency
care receive timely medical attention.
Tell your physician you work with animals
Whenever you're ill, even if you're not certain that the illness is
work or school related, always mention to your physician that you work
with animals. Many zoonotic diseases have flu-like symptoms, and your
physician needs this information to make an accurate diagnosis.
Get the Facts
All at-risk persons working in a facility should receive appropriate
training on that facility's particular biohazards, precautions, and
biohazard evaluation procedures. If there is something you don't understand,
ask your supervisor or instructor. If your department would like to
arrange a session to discuss zoonotic diseases or other occupational
health issues, contact EHSC at 515-6862. We'll be happy to arrange a
class on zoonosis for any department that has a need.
The supervisor’s role
The supervisor or faculty member is responsible for teaching the workers
or students what they need to know to perform their job or assignment
safely and effectively. Laboratory workers and animal care personnel
should know how to recognize hazard warning signs, how to protect themselves
and their coworkers against each recognized hazard, and how to react
properly in the event of emergencies. Training should be appropriate
for the employee's education, experience, and language skills. Training
sessions should be documented. Everyone in the workplace should be aware
of their own safe work practices and those of others. Safety is everyone's