Home

News 231 views

OSHA updates guidance on avian flu

The US Department of Labor has released revised Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance to help employers protect their workers from job-related exposure to H5N1 avian influenza.

"We encourage employers and employees who are most likely to be exposed to avian flu to take the appropriate precautions," said OSHA Administrator Ed Foulke. "This guidance offers them practical tips, such as hand washing and the use of proper protective equipment, for preventing illness."
In a media release, OSHA said wild birds, particularly waterfowl, are natural hosts of avian influenza viruses and often show no symptoms; however, some of the viruses can cause high mortality in poultry, including the H5N1 virus.
Some strains of avian flu viruses carried by these wild birds can infect domestic fowl and in turn can infect humans, causing fever, cough, sore throat, eye infections and muscle pain. Avian flu can also lead to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress, and other severe and life-threatening complications. The most common route of transmission to humans is by contact with contaminated poultry, OSHA said.
The new document updates guidance on avian flu issued by OSHA in 2004. The update provides separate recommendations for poultry employees and those who handle other animals, and for laboratory employees, healthcare personnel, food handlers, travelers, and US employees stationed abroad. The primary focus is on good hygiene, including use of gloves and hand washing, as well as respiratory protection for those who work with infected animals or individuals.

Editor WorldPoultry

Or register to be able to comment.