Advisory to AZA Members Regarding Type A Influenza H1N1 VirusDec 8, 2009
are no reported cases of Influenza A: H1N1 (2009-H1N1) transmission from animals
to humans in a zoological setting. Animal collections at
zoological institutions, therefore, do not present a concern for public health.
The purpose of this advisory is to ensure adequate protections for animal
transmission occurs primarily between people.
However, there have been reports of infections in animals including
swine, turkeys, cats and ferrets. Clinical signs have been primarily
respiratory in nature. These cases have followed exposure of the animals to
humans with H1N1 influenza
should review their emergency preparedness plans, including identification of
essential personnel for zoo operations, and focus on maintaining proper
biosecurity measures and consistent and appropriate use of personal protective
equipment (PPE) when working with
animals. The potential exists that the virus could be transmitted from an
infected person to animals. Species of particular concern are suid, avian,
felid, mustelid and primates.
who are sick should limit contact with animals as well as people to minimize
the risk of virus transmission. Zoos and
aquariums with animal contact programs should minimize exposure of animals to
people who are obviously sick. As stated in the Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) Accreditation Standards and Related Policies, “Hand washing is
perhaps the single most effective personal hygiene procedure for reducing the
risk of infection. Given that fact, all areas in which the public has direct
contact with animals should have access to hand washing facilities that are in
the immediate vicinity of the contact (or an equivalent; e.g., bacteriocidal
was first detected in humans in the United States in April 2009. It is
a triple recombinant including gene segments of human, swine, and avian origin.
The rapid spread of the 2009-H1N1 virus has led the World Health Organization
(WHO) to declare this a pandemic, indicating global spread of the virus. The virus circulating in Mexico and the USA and involving person-to-person
transmission appears to have caused pronounced disease in certain people
infected by this virus. The vast majority of infected individuals exhibit
milder symptoms resembling seasonal flu. Most individuals that have been
infected with the 2009-H1N1 virus fully recover.
to the CDC, the following precautions should be taken at all times to promote
- Cover your nose and mouth with
a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then dispose of the tissue—flu and cold
germs are spread mainly by person-to-person contact and the coughing or
sneezing of infected people.
- Wash your hands often with soap
and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose
or mouth, as these are the primary places germs can enter your body.
- Have limited contact with
people who are obviously sick.
- If you get sick, stay home from
work or school and limit contact with others. http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu
AZA Members: Submit your Zoo & Aquarium News