College Connection Fall 2016 - Page 5

college connection PUBLIC HEALTH - RABIES OAVT PUBLIC HEALTH RABIES RESPONSE PROGRAM By Kristina Cooper, RVT 2. In April 2014 significant changes occurred to the role the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) played in rabies surveillance in Canada. With the changes, Ontario designed a plan to facilitate rabies surveillance. PHU contacts the OAVT RRP and submits a request for rabies specimen collection/shipping. 3. RRP staff prepare all laboratory and shipping documents needed for the specimen and arranges shipment. Who is responsible? 4. RRP dispatches a RRP RVT to the collection location which may be a veterinary hospital, animal shelter, zoo, farm or private residence. 5. RRP RVT collects the specimen and packages it following the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations before shipping it to the CFIA laboratories. 6. Once testing is completed the results are returned to the PHU who in turn notifies those involved in the case. The collection and shipment of specimens has been divided between three ministries, based on the animal type and exposure. • Ministry of Health and Long-Term Careanimal exposures involving humans • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs- animal exposures not involving humans • Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestrysick wildlife with no human or animal exposure Rabies specimen testing Approximately 80% of rabies specimens tested at the CFIA involved human exposure (bites, scratches and saliva exposure to open wounds or mucous membranes). To continue to provide rabies surveillance services in Ontario, the Rabies Response Program (RRP) was established. The RRP is responsible for training and contracting Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs) to do specimen collection and shipping for 36 Public Health Units (PHU). The Rabies Response Program 1. Human exposure occurs and is reported to the local PHU. PHU investigates the case to determine if a Direct Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT) is required for rabies. Tips for veterinary teams • Report bites, scratches and saliva contact with open wounds or mucous membranes to your public health unit, including those to veterinary staff, even if the animal is current on rabies vaccination. • Once deceased, position the animal with the neck extended back, and the legs placed caudally against the chest. Place the animal in the refrigerator or freezer until contacted by the RRP. The RRP will provide the RRP RVT name and collection date. • Disposal can be completed after collection (e.g. cremation, burial following municipal regulations) prior to receiving test results. Large animals cannot be sent for deadstock until a negative result is returned. • When collection is complete, ensure the bag with the animal’s remains is labelled “rabies specimen” to alert crematorium staff how to properly handle the body. The disposal of remains is the responsibility of the animal owner. The RRP does not dispose of remains. • Encourage your RVTs to participate in the RRP. Having a trained RVT onsite will increase the efficiency of the process for the public. RRP collections are completed outside of the RVTs regular commitments and compensated by the OAVT. Kristina Cooper is a Registered Veterinary Technician and the Provincial Manager of the OAVT Public Health Rabies Response Program. For more information about the OAVT RRP visit or email College Staff Registrar’s Office Ms. Jan Robinson - Registrar & CEO Ms. Anita Lovrich Policy Specialist Ms. Kim Huson Communications Specialist Ms. Stephanie Bongiorno Associate, Communications Corporate Services Ms. Beth Ready Executive Partner, Corporate Services Ms. Shauna Spencer Ambassador, Corporate Services Licensure Ms. Shilo Tooze Senior Partner, Licensure Ms. Lindsay Mitchell Principal, Licensure & Professional Corporations Ms. Sarah Kirby Associate, Licensure & Professional Corporations Ms. Rose Robinson Principal, Investigations & Resolutions Ms. Sharan Ghandial Associate, Investigations & Resolutions Mr. Martin Fischer Investigations & Inspections Specialist Quality Practice Dr. Kim Lambert Senior Partner, Quality Pra