Avoid needle sticks and properly dispose of sharps

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

August 2018

New fact sheet centered on sharps disposal safety

Vet holding syringe

The Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (UMASH) released a new fact sheet addressing sharps safety.

Vaccinations help prevent animal diseases and illness, and are a great tool to keep animals healthy. However, administering those vaccinations can come with the risk of a needlestick; especially when handling unruly livestock. Livestock professionals should also be aware of where they're disposing used needles.

UMASH reports more than 80 percent of producers have accidentally stuck themselves with a needle while working with livestock.

To address those accidents, UMASH developed the new fact sheet, which details proper sharps storage and disposal. Both producers and veterinarians benefit from this bilingual guidance on the proper disposal of veterinary sharps.

Click here to view the fact sheet.

More news from the Board...

New tick survey launched by Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine seeks submissions from equine vets

The tick-borne disease team at Kansas State recently started a new tick surveillance program called "National Equine Tick Survey" or NETS. The goal of the program is to collect ticks from horses around the country, including Minnesota. Part of the reason they launched the program is to get a better survey to find the recently identified Longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in the eastern U.S.

Veterinarians wishing to participate in the survey can email eqticks@vet.k-state.edu for details. Partnering veterinarians will receive supplies to collect, store and ship samples to the Kansas State laboratory for identification and documentation.

The study is completely voluntary and is focused on getting equine veterinarians and horse owners more information about ticks on horses.

If you have questions about ticks in Minnesota, you can either contact the Board at animalhealth@state.mn.us or the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) at health.bugbites@state.mn.us. The MDH offers a similar tick identification service, which you can learn about by clicking this link.

New Rocky Mountain spotted fever toolkit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Veterinary professionals can learn and earn with a new CDC toolkit. Continuing education credits are available with completion of the toolkit.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is the deadliest tickborne disease in the United States with 3,000 - 5,000 cases of RMSF and other spotted fever rickettsioses reported annually. Treatment is available, and severe cases of RMSF can be prevented by early recognition and treatment. The goal of the new toolkit is to educate healthcare providers, epidemiologists and public health practitioners how to spot this disease early.

Learn about the toolkit by clicking this link.

How to capture a bat

The Minnesota Department of Health Zoonotic Diseases Unit recently launched a "How to Safely Capture a Bat" video. August is peak time for calls about bats in houses, and the Zoonotic Diseases Unit answers around 175 calls about bats and rabies risk each August.

The MDH created the video in partnership with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the University of Minnesota's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

Click this link to watch the video.

Here are some of the tips from the video:

  • Use a shoebox or tupperware container to catch and hold the bat. Poke small air holes in it, but make sure they’re very small. Tape up any big holes.
  • Wear thick leather or winter gloves.
  • Do not use a net or racket to hit the bat out of the air. Wait for the bat to land and cover it with the container.
  • If anyone had physical contact with the bat or woke up with a bat in their room, it should be tested for rabies. Call the MDH at 651-201-5414.
  • If no one had contact with the bat and it does not seem injured, you can release it outside in the summer. In other seasons, call the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
  • Any questions? Call the MDH at 651-201-5414.

Meeting notice: Farmed Cervid Advisory Task Force

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Buffalo Community Center Meeting Room
206 Central Avenue, Buffalo, MN  55313

  • 1:00 p.m. - Welcome and introductions.
  • 1:15 p.m. – Review of Meeting Minutes from 06-13-2018 meeting.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Updates from the DNR, USDA, and BAH.
  • 2:00 p.m. – MVDL ELISA testing inquiry.
  • 2:15 p.m. – Break.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Exclusionary fencing update.
  • 3:00 p.m. – Discussion.
  • 3:45 p.m. – Wrap up.
  • 4:00 p.m. - Adjourn.