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Encourage Self-Disclosure to an Occupational Health Physician

The fifth edition of the BMBL, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, includes a statement encouraging individuals to discuss their personal health situations with an occupational health physician.  The following statement is included for all four biosafety levels in the Standard Microbiological Practices recommendations:

Personal health status may impact an individual’s susceptibility to infection, ability to receive immunizations or prophylactic interventions.  Therefore, all laboratory personnel and particularly women of child bearing age should be provided with information regarding immune competence and conditions that may predispose them to infection.  Individuals having these conditions should be encouraged to self-identify to the institution’s healthcare provider for appropriate counseling and guidance.

Individuals should be informed of this recommendation during new employee training, and reminded of the importance of taking this advice during annual training sessions.  Consulting with an occupational health physician and taking advantage of the occupational health services in place should be encouraged!

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