Infection Control, Prevention and Biosecurity

By Megan McCloskey |

The Securos Team focuses daily on providing excellent service to our customers throughout the country. We want to help you protect your clients and staff throughout these uncertain times we live in. Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on infection control, prevention, and biosecurity. We want to help you by providing you with important resources to keep your staff, clients, and patients safe.

How are pathogens spread?

Pathogens can be transmitted in six different ways. Knowing how pathogens enter your clinic can help you better protect your patients, clients, and staff.

  • Direct Contact Transmission
    • Occurs through direct body contact with tissues or fluids of infected individual
  • Fomite Transmission
    • Involves inanimate objects contaminated by an infected individual
  • Aerosol (Airborne) Transmission
    • Pathogen is either inhaled or deposited onto mucous membranes or environmental surfaces via very small particles
  • Oral (Ingestion) Transmission
    • Ingestion of pathogenic organisms occurs from contaminated water or food or chewing contaminated objects or surfaces
  •  Zoonotic Transmission
    • Transmissible animal diseases that pose a risk to the healthcare team as well as clients

Pathogens that are of greatest concern for a small animal hospital include

  • Adenovirus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Calicivirus, Chlamydophila, Distemper virus, Herpesvirus, Influenza viruses, Leptospira interrogans, Microsporum canis, Parainfluenza virus, Parvoviruses, Respiratory coronavirus, Salmonella spp., and Multidrug resistant organisms (Acinetobacter spp., Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp.)

Reduce the spread of infectious pathogens through a system of controls. This hierarchy of controls, in order of importance, include:

  • Elimination: eliminates the pathogen from entering your clinic
    • Consider phone triaging to prevent entry of the pathogen into your clinic
    • Consider car side appointments where only the pet enters the clinic
  • Engineering
    • Establish a dedicated isolation room
    • Place hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfection resources near exam rooms to improve compliance
    • Install (or use) nonporous material for work surfaces and floors for more effective disinfection
  • Administrative
  •  PPE
    • Use of gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection as appropriate for pathogen

Know before you clean

Knowing which pathogen you are disinfecting for is key. Different pathogens respond to different cleaning products. The effectiveness of your cleaning protocols can mean the difference when containing infection! Below are some resources to help you figure out how to disinfect your clinic properly:

COVID-19 is officially a pandemic

It causes flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The incubation period of this virus ranges between 2 and 14 days. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Person-to-person spread (direct transmission) is the primary route of transmission. Fomite transmission is also possible. Since veterinary staff are essential workers, it is very important to reduce the risk every single way we can. By understanding the virus, enforcing proper cleaning procedures, and donning appropriate PPE, the risk of spread can be minimized.

We at Securos Surgical thank all of you in the veterinary community for the essential roles you play during these uncertain times. We hope that our support of these resources for you is beneficial. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. A Securos Specialist is available for any of your suture, instrumentation, or orthopedic needs at or 877.266.3349, option 2.

About the Author

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Megan McCloskey

General Surgical Sales Representative
Securos Surgical
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