Research Article

Risks of zoonoses in a veterinary service.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 284 doi: (Published 23 January 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;284:246
  1. P J Constable,
  2. J M Harrington


    A survey was undertaken among the veterinary staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food and the Institute for Research in Animal Diseases to estimate the distribution of occupationally acquired zoonoses in this population. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 1717 staff, 1625 (95%) of whom responded. It was observed that both laboratory and technical support staff were at risk from a variety of zoonotic infections, though generally to a lesser extent than veterinary surgeons. A history of injury while handling animals was reported frequently by veterinarians (45%). Accidental self-injection with vaccines was also commonly reported. It is suggested that both injury from animals and accidental self-injection are associated with the risk of zoonotic infection.