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The Importance of Mammalogy, Infectious Disease Research, and Biosafety in the Field
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    29177206
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5701287
  • Description:
    Large amounts of data and multitudes of publications have been independently generated by researchers in mammalogy and infectious diseases. The frequent confluence of these fields in epidemiological research as well as the facility of the data generated to be used in applied methods (e.g., conservation, public outreach, public health interventions) suggests that the intersection of these fields is important not only to their committed scientists but also to other areas of investigation, including public health. Given the increased frequency with which researchers in these fields interact with potentially infected humans, animals, and tissues, their occupations present a higher risk of exposure to a variety of pathogens than those in other fields of biology or among most jobs of the general public. However, a variety of methods are available for minimizing this risk, including increasing awareness of potential risks, using medical prophylaxes (when available), properly employing personal protective equipment, and using adequate disinfectants. Although instances of serious illness from zoonotic diseases among field researchers may be uncommon, they do occur; the purpose of this document is to increase awareness of risks that researchers-principal investigators and students alike-face and highlight steps and resources that can mitigate those risks.

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