Routes of Transmission

There are many ways diseases can be contracted through routes of transmission:

1. Oral Routes: eg. contamination on hands from soil or rocks:

  • Wear gloves to avoid contamination
  • Wear overalls, eye protection or particle masks
  • Do not place your hand near face – no eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum until you have washed your hands with soap and water

Another Oral Route is ingesting contaminated food or water: -e.g. Raccoon Roundworm, Tapeworm, Toxocariasis, Listeriosis, Toxoplasmosis, Trichnellosis

  • Cook food well and wash all vegetables in filtered, chemically treated or boiled water
  • Do not drink lake or stream waters until the water has been filtered, chemically treated or boiled
  • Food must be stored properly while working in the field

2. Respiratory Routes: Some bacteria or viruses enter the body through inhalation: – eg. Hanta Virus, rabbit fever

  • Avoid dusts that may be contaminated
  • Wear an N95 respirator with Hepa filters. Respirator fit tests are required before heading out into the field
  • Disinfect area – find out what you need to use to disinfect the area and know the procedure for disinfection

3. Open Skin Routes: Cuts and abrasions or direct bites: eg. West Nile Virus, Rabies, rabbit fever, tetanus

  • Wear protective clothing (gloves, boots, coveralls)
  • Protect exposed skin – insect repellent
  • Don’t touch wildlife; dead or alive

Consider immunization for things like tetanus or other diseases if you are engaged in activities that put you at greater risk.