Jump to other news and events
Purdue signature

Purdue University Executive Memoranda Master Listing


December 14, 1979

To: Deans, Directors, and Heads of Schools, Divisions, Departments, and Offices, and Regional Campus Chancellors

Re: Physical Examinations for Animal Care Personnel


An occupational health program is mandatory for all personnel (Purdue University employees and students) routinely working in laboratory animal facilities and for other personnel with substantial animal contact for teaching and/or research purposes. Such persons shall receive physical examinations (pre-employment, pre-placement, annual, and periodical) at the Purdue University Student Hospital, including appropriate diagnostic tests for diseases communicable between animals and man. Specifically such examinations shall include:

  1. Pre-Employment and/or Pre-Placement Examinations

    1. General physical examination including a urinanalysis, skin test for tuberculosis and, if positive, a chest X-ray.

    2. Immunizations for tetanus.

    3. Such other examinations and immunizations as deemed advisable by the physician.

  2. Personnel Working with Subhuman Primates

    1. All personnel using subhuman primates must comply with Executive Memorandum No. A-299 concerning "Health Regulations Pertaining to the Care and Use of Subhuman Primates in Laboratories", dated 1 December 1970.

    2. An annual re-examination consisting of a skin test for tuberculosis if prior skin test was negative. If prior skin test was positive, a chest X-ray will be done.

  3. Periodic or Special Examinations
    1. Pre-exposure immunizations for rabies for those animal care personnel handling carnivores, bats, or other species which may normally be expected to transmit the rabies virus. "Quarantined" or "conditioned" dogs, or dogs specifically raised for research would not be expected to carry the rabies virus.

      For information, both the U. S. Public Health Service Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Committee on Infectious Diseases of the American Academy of Pediatrics advise the use of rabies vaccine is seldom, if ever, indicated when the biting animal is a rodent (rats, mice, squirrel, chipmunks, hamsters, rabbits, hares, pikas).

    2. Deep puncture wounds or lacerations, or wounds inflicted by an animal suspected of being rabid.

    3. Evidence of fungus, dermatitis, infections, or communicable disease.

    4. Immunization for tetanus every five years unless there is an injury which necessitates a booster inoculation.

    5. Exposure through inhalation, ingestion, skin, or such other means to a chemical carcinogen at a concentration,, according to the National Cancer Institute or the Department of Labor, capable of causing cancer in humans, or posing a potential occupational carcinogenic risk.

    6. Exposure through inhalation, ingestion, skin, or such other means to an oncogenic virus, accord-.3ig to the National Cancer Institute or the Department of Labor, suspected of being capable of causing cancer in humans.

  4. Other Considerations
    1. Zoonoses surveillances should be conducted continually and any person who has recently- handled or worked with animals with one or more of the zoonoses should be examined by a physician (e. g. brucellosis).

    2. All animal bites and other minor wounds must be documented by the respective employing department as to type of wound, its location, and action taken to prevent an infection.

    3. Records concerning bite wounds treated at the Purdue University Student Hospital, occurrence of any unusual illness, and all medical examinations will be maintained by the Student Hospital.

    4. The cost of these examinations shall be absorbed by the employing department requesting the examination.


Department heads should follow the procedures outlined in the Business Procedure Manual. However, since specific examinations must be completed by the physician, it is recommended that the employing department identify by stating on Purdue University Student Hospital Form 22 "Examination for Animal Care Personnel", and further indicate whether it is "pre-employment", "annual", "special", or "pre-placement" examination.


Technical questions concerning this policy and procedure should be directed to Dr. M. P. Plumlee, chairman, University Animal Care Committee (telephone: 49-38530). Non-technical questions should be directed to Mr. T. Drayer, Assistant Director, Department of Personnel Services (telephone: 749-6097).

Arthur G. Hansen