Based on the species you are working with, you should be aware of the following potential health risks:
- Asthma and Allergy in Animal Handlers
- Bites and Scratches
- Cercopithecine Herpesvirus 1 (Herpes B Virus)
- Enteric Bacteria
- Lymphochoriomeningitis Virus
- Physical Injury
- Preventing Asthma in Animal Handlers
What You Should Do
1. Be knowledgeable about the potential for developing allergies and/or asthma due to animal handling- especially if you are already allergic.
2. Consider using a NIOSH-approved N95 respirator- even if you do not have any symptoms. These respirators have been shown to reduce the chance of developing laboratory animal allergies. In order to use a respirator, you must have a fit test through the Environmental Health & Safety.
3. Know proper handling techniques of non-human primates. Only trained individuals should handle non-human primates. Handling and restraint training can be scheduled through the Center for Comparative Medicine.
4. Always wash your hands after coming in contact with non-human primates or their saliva, urine, blood, feces, and/or bedding materials.
5. If you are using non-human primates, please be sure to read Non-Human Primate Specific Occupational Health and Safety Risks.
6. If you need to know the procedures to be followed for collecting non-human primate or human samples because of a non-human primate exposure (e.g., bite, scratch, etc.), please read Special procedures for non-human primate specimen handling (PDF).