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Reference guide for infection prevention and control

A guide for veterinarians when selecting infection prevention and control measures for working with horses.

Health statusInfection prevention and control measuresPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE)
actual PPE will depend on the level of risk)
Healthy horse with no invasive procedure Standard precautions
  • cover non-intact skin
  • hand hygiene
  • safe use and disposal of sharps
  • routine environmental cleaning
  • reprocess reusable equipment and instruments
  • waste management
  • appropriate handling of linen
  • PPE.
PPE appropriate to the level of contact with blood and body fluids.

This may include:

  • disposable gloves
  • eye/face protection
  • protective clothing.
Healthy horse with invasive procedure or contact with blood and body fluids Standard precautions plus Airborne precautions for procedures that generate potentially infectious aerosols especially from the respiratory tract, including respiratory protective equipment. PPE appropriate to the level of contact with blood and body fluids.

This may include:

  • disposable gloves
  • eye/face protection
  • protective clothing
  • respiratory protective equipment.
Sick horse where Hendra virus is not a primary or differential diagnosis Standard precautions plus Contact, droplet and/or airborne precautions where additional measures are required to manage a suspected or confirmed infection risk.

Actual measures will depend on what infectious diseases are being considered and how these spread.

PPE appropriate to the level of contact with blood and body fluids and any infectious diseases being considered.

This may include:

  • disposable gloves
  • eye/face protection
  • protective clothing
  • respiratory protective equipment
  • protective footwear.
Sick horse where Hendra virus is a primary or differential diagnosis or infection is confirmed Standard precautions and Contact, droplet and airborne precautions:
  • isolate the horse from people and other animals
  • use patient dedicated equipment
  • set up an entry-exit zone.
A complete set of PPE that includes:
  • disposable gloves
  • eye/face protection
  • protective clothing
  • respiratory protective equipment
  • protective footwear.