Environmental Infection Control

Isolation of infectious animals: Animals with a contagious or zoonotic disease will be housed in isolation as soon as possible. Clearly mark the room or cage to indicate the patient’s status and describe additional precautions. Keep only the equipment needed for the care and treatment of the patient in the isolation room, including dedicated cleaning supplies. Disassemble and thoroughly clean and disinfect any equipment that must be taken out of the room. Discard gloves after use. Leave reusable personal protective equipment (e.g., gown, mask) in the isolation room. Clean and disinfect or discard protective equipment between patients and whenever contaminated by body fluids. Place potentially contaminated materials in a bag before removal from the isolation room. Limit access to the isolation room. Keep a sign-in log of all people having contact with an animal in isolation. Follow current SOP found in binder outside of isolations spaces.

Cleaning and disinfection of equipment and environmental surfaces: Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting. Wash hands afterwards. First, clean surfaces and equipment to remove organic matter, and then use a disinfectant according to manufacturer’s instructions. Clean and disinfect animal cages, toys, and food and water bowls between uses and whenever visibly soiled. Clean litter boxes once a day. Use the checklist for each area of the facility (e.g., waiting room, examination rooms, treatment area, and kennels) that specifies the frequency of cleaning, disinfection procedures, products to be used, and staff responsible.

Handling laundry: Wear gloves when handling soiled laundry. Wash animal bedding and other laundry with standard laundry detergent and completely machine dry. Use separate storage and transport bins for clean and dirty laundry.

Decontamination and spill response: Immediately spray spills or splashes of body fluids, vomitus, feces, or other potentially infectious substance with disinfectant and contain it with absorbent material (e.g., paper towels, sawdust, or cat litter). Put on gloves and protective outerwear (including shoe covers if the spill is large and may be stepped in) before beginning the clean-up. Pick up the material, seal it in a leak-proof plastic bag, and clean and disinfect the area. Keep clients, patients, and employees away from the spill area until disinfection is completed.

Rodent and vector control: Seal entry portals, eliminate clutter and sources of standing water, keep animal food in closed metal or thick plastic covered containers, and dispose of food waste properly to keep the facility free of rodents, mosquitoes, and other arthropods.

Other environmental controls: There are designated areas for eating, drinking, smoking, application of make-up, and similar activities. These activities should not occur in animal-care areas or in the laboratory. Do not keep food or drink for human consumption in the same refrigerator as food for animals, biologics, or laboratory specimens. Dishes for human use should be washed and stored away from animal-care and animal food preparation areas.