Wildlife veterinarians and rehabilitators treat a number of wildlife species that can carry infectious and zoonotic diseases. These can rapidly spread within a facility and to the caregivers when adequate measures are not taken. Financial constraints and reduced access to laboratories often limit identification of disease etiology of many cases admitted into wildlife rehabilitation centers. A survey to investigate wildlife rehabilitator illness during the 2002 West Nile virus season indicated that many rehabilitators do not follow adequate protective measures in their facilities and may not seek medical care when disease symptoms arise or even linger. The recommended precautions and proper infection control measures for those handling and housing wildlife cases should be discussed between rehabilitators and their attending veterinarian(s).
Additional publication details
Survey of wildlife rehabilitators on infection control and personal protective behaviors