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Zoonoses Occupationally Acquired By Abattoir Workers

Mahendra Pal, Sihin Tesfaye, Pratibha Dave.


Many occupational zoonotic diseases of multiple etiologies are encountered in abattoir workers who deal with the slaughter of different species of food animals for human consumption. As a result abattoir workers constitute a major group at risk of occupational zoonosis, due to the close contact that exists between them and animals/tissue of animals during slaughtering or processing. Clinical signs may be suggestive but confirmation of disease requires standard laboratory diagnostic techniques such as microbiological, immunological and molecular. Prevention and control of occupational zoonoses in abattoir workers depend on avoidance of cuts, abrasion, wound, immediate medical attention to the skin injury, high standard of personal hygiene, provision of protective wears to the employees, vaccination of high risk groups, sanitation in abattoirs and meat processing plants, strict meat inspection of food animals, elimination of disease in animals, health education of employees in meat industry and good coordination among physician and veterinarian. It is hoped that close coordination between medical and veterinary specialists will be very helpful in combating the zoonotic diseases which are of pivotal significance from public health as well as economic point of view.

Key words: Abattoir worker, Food animal, Meat inspection, Occupational zoonoses, Slaughterhouse, Transmission

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