Control of zoonotic risks for pregnant animal handlers in zoos
Veen, I.M. van
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Pregnant animal workers form a risk group in the zoo because of weakening of their immune system and intensive animal contact. To reduce risks, protocols for personal hygiene and pregnancy are required. In this study control of zoonotic risks for animal handlers by zoos was evaluated. In a Dutch zoo animal handlers were observed during work, hand samples were taken, questionnaires were completed by animal workers and several environmental samples were taken in the zoo. Adherence to the protocol appeared low, most of the animal handlers consumed food with their hands contaminated with Enterobacteriaceae, knowledge of the protocols and risks of the animal handlers was found to be insufficient and environmental samples showed an undesirable high level of surface contamination. Lack of knowledge about the protocol hence poor hand washing and adherence to the protocol result in insufficient control of zoonotic risks for pregnant animal handlers.