Avian Influenza – Biosecurity Guidelines for Farm Personnel During an Animal Disease Outbreak Situation

Specific biosecurity protocols in an outbreak situation will be determined by the nature of the disease involved in the outbreak.  Because of the possible different strains and varying infectivity of avian influenza strains, a precautionary approach should be taken.

The following is meant to give a sense of heightened biosecurity procedures that may be required.  In these situations, the HDOA will develop specific guidance for officials, industry participants, and visitors.

Here is a link to Worker Health & Safety information from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): http://www.cdc.gov/flu/pp/worker_health_safety_11_2004.pdf

Traffic Flow

  • One entrance and exit site must be maintained at the premises, and strict security at that site must be maintained.
  • Other entrances and exits must be closed.
  • Equipment and supplies for cleaning and disinfection of personnel, equipment, and supplies must be maintained at the chosen site.
  • Vehicles may be required to be parked off-premises.
  • Vehicles that enter premises will be required to be cleaned and disinfected before exiting premises.
  • Vehicles must be washed after leaving premises.
  • Visiting multiple operations the same day may be prohibited.

Disinfection

  • Use of specific disinfectants and procedures may be required.
  • Organic material may inactivate many disinfectants; therefore, organic material must be completely removed before disinfection.

Protective Clothing

  • Non-porous disposable coveralls, gloves, hair caps, face shields, respirators, etc. could all be required depending on the nature of the disease outbreak.
  • All items worn on premises must be removed and bagged before leaving the premises.
  • Proper disposal is required.
  • Street clothes are not to be worn on the premises.  Any non-disposable clothing, such as that required during inclement weather, that is worn on the premises may only leave the premises after being soaked in an approved disinfectant for the required length of time, placed in a sealed container for transport, and then washed.  Rubber boots must be scrubbed clean and disinfected before removal from premises.

Equipment

  • Equipment must always be carefully cleaned and disinfected prior to use on a premise.
  • Only necessary equipment that can be adequately cleaned and disinfected may be utilized.
  • Equipment may be quarantined and confined to the operation where it was used for a period of time, or may require disposal, depending upon the nature of the disease outbreak.

End of Lane or Off-Farm Swabbing

  • If collecting samples from dead birds at the end of a farm lane or off-farm, return birds to the container after sampling.
  • All disposable clothing and equipment will be bagged and left on site for disposal with the birds.
  • Other equipment and supplies will be cleaned and disinfected before leaving the premises.

Other Considerations

  • Anyone with medical conditions that may increase the risk of infection with AI, such as respiratory disease or a reduced immune competence, will be advised to stay away from poultry farms, avoid all contact with infected birds and seek appropriate medical advice.
  • The health status of persons exposed to infected birds should be monitored.
  • All who have had, or are likely to have contact with infected birds will need to be provided information about how to protect themselves and their families from infection.
  • Those exposed to infection should be offered seasonal flu vaccine as a precaution against the possibility of co-infection with human influenza viruses. Vaccine should be given as soon as possible, either before or at time of exposure, and at least within 48 hours of initial exposure.
  • Offering the use of appropriate antiviral agents for a prescribed period of time to those considered at risk of infection, if antiviral therapy is not contraindicated.  Antiviral therapy should be given as soon as possible, either before or at the time of exposure, and at least within 48 hours of initial exposure.

Guidance Documents

  • Interim Guidance for Protection of Persons Involved in U.S. Avian Influenza Outbreak Disease Control and Eradication Activities, CDC, February 17, 2004, updated January 14, 2006.
  • Guidance for Farm Workers/Animal Handlers, OSHA
  • WHO interim recommendations for the protection of persons involved in the mass slaughter of animals potentially infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses, WHO, January 26, 2004.