General biosecurity guidelines

Contaminated hands are the most common source of infectious disease transmission in the hospital environment. Fingernails of personnel having patient contact should be cut short. Hands should be washed before and after attending to each individual animal as follows: collect clean paper towels and use to turn on water faucets, wash hands for 30 seconds with antiseptic soap being sure to clean under fingernails, rinse hands thoroughly, use the paper towel to dry hands, and use the paper towel to turn off the water faucets. Use of antiseptic lotion should be encouraged. Personnel should not touch patients, clients, food, doorknobs, drawer or cabinet handles or contents, equipment, or medical records with soiled hands or gloves.

All employees should wear an outer garment, such as a smock or scrub suit, when attending to patients. Footwear should be protective, clean and cleanable. A minimum of 2 sets of outer garments should always be available, and they should be changed immediately after contamination with feces, secretions or exudates. Equipment such as stethoscopes, pen lights, thermometers, bandage scissors, lead ropes, percussion hammers, and clipper blades can be fomites and should be cleaned and disinfected after each use with animals likely to have a transmissible infectious disease. To avoid zoonotic transfer of infectious diseases, food or drink should not be consumed in areas where animal care is provided. All areas where animals are examined or treated should be cleaned and disinfected immediately after use, irrespective of infectious disease status of the individual animal.

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