Protecting Poultry Workers from Exposure to Avian Influenza Viruses


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Abstract

SYNOPSISEmerging zoonotic diseases are of increasing regional and global importance. Preventing occupational exposure to zoonotic diseases protects workers as well as their families, communities, and the public health. Workers can be protected from zoonotic diseases most effectively by preventing and controlling diseases in animals, reducing workplace exposures, and educating workers.Certain avian influenza viruses are potential zoonotic disease agents that may be transmitted from infected birds to humans. Poultry workers are at risk of becoming infected with these viruses if they are exposed to infected birds or virus-contaminated materials or environments. Critical components of worker protection include educating employers and training poultry workers about occupational exposure to avian influenza viruses. Other recommendations for protecting poultry workers include the use of good hygiene and work practices, personal protective clothing and equipment, vaccination for seasonal influenza viruses, antiviral medication, and medical surveillance. Current recommendations for protecting poultry workers from exposure to avian influenza viruses are summarized in this article.

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