Letter: Call your state vet about zoonotic disease


Our writer told veterinary team members to cover zoonotic diseases in their clients' new puppy and kitten visits. This state veterinarian wants you all to know your state veterinarian is an excellent resource.

"Hello, operator? Get me the state veterinarian! ... Wait, does this phone work?" (Getty Images)Please extend my thanks to Oriana Scislowicz, BS, LVT, for featuring the importance of zoonotic disease education in her article “5 ways to screw up a new puppy or kitten visit” (click here to read it) in the January/February 2017 issue of Firstline (click here to read the magazine online).

As she indicates, animal healthcare professionals routinely have the important opportunity to educate clients about zoonotic disease. Whether they're treating a puppy for a roundworm infection, vaccinating a cat for rabies, reviewing flea and tick prevention products with their clients or stressing the importance of good handwashing, animal healthcare providers in clinical practice are critical partners in zoonotic disease prevention and education.

In support of their efforts in this regard, those who work in clinical animal healthcare settings should keep in mind that a great resource for guidance about zoonotic disease education, reporting and exposure response is their state public health veterinarian. Here are some good starting points:

Find your state veterinarian

A directory of state public health veterinarians and zoonotic disease contacts for each state can be found on this page of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) at nasphv.org.

> Find free resources

Here are items on that website that are helpful to veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians and others working in clinical veterinary medicine:

• Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control PDF (updated 2016)

• Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions for Zoonotic Disease Prevention in Veterinary Personnel PDF (updated 2015)

• Model Infection Control Plan for Veterinary Pospitals DOCX (updated 2015)

• Public Health Implications of Brucella canis Infection in Humans PDF (updated 2012).

Thank you again for featuring this critical aspect of clinical veterinary work in your publication.

- Julia Murphy, DVM, MS, DACVPM

State public health veterinarian, Virginia Department of Health

President, National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians

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