Prevention of Zoonotic Diseases When Working With Poultry

Renu Yadav, Namita Shukla
Renu Yadav, Namita Shukla
Poultry Farm

Preventing zoonotic disease exposure at work protects workers, their families, communities, and the general public. The majority of zoonotic infections that affect hens are spread through inhalation of infected faecal dust, respiratory aerosols, or ingestion of feces-contaminated water or food. Preventing and controlling zoonotic diseases in animals, avoiding workplace exposures, and educating workers are the most effective ways to protect workers from zoonotic infections.

Use of appropriate hygiene and work practises, personal protective clothing and equipment, seasonal influenza virus vaccine, antiviral medicine, and medical surveillance are all recommended for poultry workers. Occupational zoonoses are infections that can be passed from animals to humans at work. Workers who work directly with infected animals or animal products, with tissues or samples from infected animals, or in pathogen-contaminated environments may be exposed to zoonotic disease agents. Preventing and controlling infections in animals, early disease diagnosis, and providing worker protection from zoonotic disease agents are the most effective ways to protect workers against zoonotic disease agents. Biosecurity, as optimally practiced in U.S. commercial poultry flocks, includes but is not limited to: (1) restricting visitors to poultry farms, (2) prohibiting farmworkers from visiting other farms or personally owning birds or poultry, (3) all-in-all-out production with birds of the same age obtained from a single source, (4) confinement housing, which limits contact with wild bird and animal populations, (5) rodent and insect control, (6) strict disinfection and waste disposal.

Some chicken diseases can make people sick

In humans, clinical signs associated with these pathogens are diverse and can include skin rashes, respiratory disorders, fever, headache, conjunctivitis, chest pain, lymph node swelling, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck stiffness, convulsions or other neurological signs, tremors, exercise intolerance, weight loss and death. The most frequent zoonotic infections in hens are campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis. Vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of exposure to these chemicals. Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium excretion are reduced by these vaccinations. These immunizations, however, do not eliminate the risk of egg or meat contamination, thus adequate hygiene is required to reduce the risk of bacterial transfer to people.

Mosquitoes can grow in water and spread viral diseases from chickens to humans. Second, some infections, such as the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum, can proliferate in bird droppings despite the fact that backyard chickens are not carriers of these fungi. Personnel who work with birds and other animals frequently face allergic skin and respiratory reactions. Poultry normally show no signs of infection, although their faeces may contain large numbers of S. pullorum bacteria. All eggs should be considered as a significant source of infection, and workers should wear gloves and wash their hands after collecting eggs or handling raw egg products. The fecal/oral mode of transmission is often used.

The most common symptom in humans is watery, copious diarrhoea and lasts about 10 days, but some individuals, particularly newborns, the elderly, and those with a suppressed immune system, can become critically ill. Infections with Staphylococcus aureus in chicken can cause everything from skin infections to generalized septicemia. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort & diarrhoea are common symptoms in men. Infected eggs are a source of infection. TB, or Mycobacteriosis avium bacteria, is spread mostly through aerosols from sick birds, therefore exposure can occur through soiled bedding as well as coughing and sneezing. Any organ system in a human may even be damaged, although the most common symptoms are related to lung diseases.

Campylobacteriosis jejuni is found in large numbers in poultry. Hemorrhagic and necrotic lesions of the liver classify the disease in birds. Egg production drops significantly in adult birds. Man gets the disease through the handling and consumption of undercooked, contaminated meat. C.jejuni One of the most common bacterial agents causing enteritis and diarrhoea in humans. The fecal/oral route is the most common mode of transmission. In birds infected with Listeriosis monocytogenes, lateral deviation of the head with a tendency to circle and paralysis is prominent. Fever, headache, nausea, and vomiting are all symptoms that people encounter.

Steps To Prevent Disease Transmission from Birds to Man

Litter and organic debris should be removed from the coop on a regular basis. To avoid contamination of the surroundings, wash the ceiling, walls, nests, and floors with a disinfectant certified for use with poultry on a routine basis.

  • When caring for or handling birds, faeces or eggs, blood, nasal discharges, or wound fluids, always use gloves. Wash your hands with soap and water after removing your gloves

  • Avoid eating or drinking near areas where birds, their faeces, or waste products are handled. Additionally, no eating or drinking is permitted in areas where birds are housed.

  • Even when a normal, healthy adult individual only exhibits minor signs of a zoonotic disease, that person can spread the disease to others. As a result, excellent hygiene is important not only for those who work directly with chickens, but also for those who come into contact with the Tetanus booster every 10 years.

  • When touching the animals, wear protective gloves. Hands must be thoroughly washed after tasks involving animals/glove removal.

  • Injuries: Wash the affected area with soap and water for at least 15 minutes. Any bleeding should be controlled and covered with a protective dressing (bandage, etc.).

  • After touching, feeding, or caring for your bird, poultry, reptiles, or other pets, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, especially after cleaning up their waste and surroundings.

  • Chickens should be avoided by elderly persons, pregnant women, small children, and people with compromised immune systems. These individuals more susceptible to infections transferred by chickens, and the frequency of an infection is usually more severe in these people. Most healthy individuals, on the other hand, may properly care for backyard poultry, consume their eggs, and keep chickens as both indoor and outdoor pets—as long as common sense and good hygiene are also used.

  • Any dead birds should be necropsied and disposed of in heavy-duty plastic bags as quickly as possible by an avian veterinarian.


Renu Yadav1 (Ph.D scholar) and Namita shukla2 (Ph.D scholar)

Department of Veterinary Anatomy,College of Veterinary and Animal ScienceG.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, Pincode-263153

Corresponding Author: dranisha1988@gmail.com

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