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Animals can be infected with COVID19. What does that mean for you?

Avisure is pleased to join the Australian Airports Association (AAA) in the release of Zoonotic* safety information. The release is directed to those aviation personnel who deal with wildlife management. Investigations have found that some animals can be infected with CoV2. How do you prevent being exposed to carrier animals?

The release outlines the risk of zoonotic diseases and the general preventative principals for management.

Link to the full release

Preventative measures on the transmission of Zoonotic diseases include:

  • Do not handle a live or dead animal unless you are trained to do so.
  • Always plan an animal capture and handling session with the aim to handle animals with minimal restraint/stress and to limit direct contact with them.
  • Use PPE appropriate to the circumstance. PPE requirements may vary with circumstance and species. Simple examples include wearing disposable gloves and overalls to protect clothing and skin from contamination by organic material when collecting carcasses; or wearing a mask or respirator if working with animals in confined and poorly ventilated areas. eg a bird or bat cave roost.
  • Regularly renew disposable PPE, wash hands and sanitise during and after an animal or carcass handling session.
  • Regularly wash and use hand sanitisers at all times.
  • Ensure you have the appropriate vaccine protection required for handling some species (e.g. bats & ABLV).
  • Avoid handling animals or carcasses when you have any illness (eg cold or flu) or if your immune system is known to be compromised by intercurrent therapy, toxins or other issues.
  • Dress or protect any existing cuts and abrasions from contact with animals or animal products. Any bite or wound sustained from an animal during a procedure should be immediately washed clean, sanitised and dressed. Prompt medical consultation is warranted to determine whether further treatment is necessary.
  • When working in outdoors areas be diligent in applying sunscreen and personal insecticide. Sunburnt skin is compromised and may accelerate the absorption and transfer of pathogens into your system. In Australia, ticks, leeches, mosquitoes, biting midges, and other insects can transmit a variety of infectious disease agents.
  • Be alert to any symptoms that arise after working in dense vegetation or in close proximity to animals. If you suspect a possible zoonosis from an animal or insect source, seek medical attention sooner rather than later.

*Zoonotic diseased: diseases transmitted between animals and humans, either from animals to humans, humans to animals or both.

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