New guidelines published this month provide veterinary professionals with information and resources to prevent the spread of disease in their practices and implement protocols that protect both animal and human health.
Dr. Christine Petersen, associate professor of epidemiology in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, served as a member of a national task force of experts that developed the guidelines on behalf of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).
The 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines offer practical standard operating procedures (SOPs) to guide veterinary practices in areas such as cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, identifying high-risk patients to prevent their entry into the waiting area, and managing contagious patients in isolation.
Dr. Petersen says the new veterinary guidelines complement the growing emphasis in human medicine on infection control to prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).
“These recommendations are intended to protect both animal and human health within veterinary practice,” says Dr. Petersen. “Effective infection prevention, control, and biosecurity practices in veterinary medicine help check the spread of drug-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant staphylococci and the reduce potential exposure of pet owners and veterinary staff to zoonotic diseases, such as leptospirosis, rabies, and salmonellosis.”
The new guidelines are published in the November/December issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association and are available online at aaha.org/biosecurity.
[Photo: Dr. Christine Petersen]