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NLS-REPORTS  May 2000

NLS-REPORTS May 2000

Subject:

Network Bulletin No. 00-25

From:

National Library Service for the Blind <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NLS Documents for Network Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 23 May 2000 14:36:05 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (116 lines)

Network Bulletin No. 00-25

Date: May 19, 2000

Subject:NLS Playback equipment

Index term:   Health concerns from handling
infected equipment and materials


NLS provides the following information on the issue of
health concerns network librarians had which might be
involved with handling playback equipment and audio and
braille materials.

In 1985, NLS consulted with Dr. Raymon A. Noble, the Health
Services Officer of the Library of Congress, who advised
that the risk of any individual contracting an infectious
disease from books and equipment was negligible. He stated
that nearly all pathogenic germs die quickly when away from
the favorable conditions of human bodies.  Cells die quickly
when shed, causing whatever viruses that live inside to die
also.  It was his opinion that no special precautions needed
to be taken concerning the return and reuse of books and
equipment loaned to patrons with contagious diseases.

With the concerns raised in 1996 by network librarians about
HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis, NLS contacted the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) to reexamine this position, in
light of developments in medical research.  In December
1997, Dr. Helene Gayle, director, National Center for HIV,
STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, responded in writing that
the 1985 information was still accurate.  "The risk of an
individual contracting an infectious disease from handling
equipment such as cassette players is negligible."  A copy
of her letter and enclosures is attached.

The Western Conference program presented at the 1998
biennial conference provided practical and operational
information from hands-on experience in network libraries.
Sally Hess, Infection Control Practitioner, Fletcher Allen
Health Care, Burlington, Vermont, discussed the transmission
of disease by air, droplets, and contact.  Ms. Hess
corroborated the information NLS had obtained regarding the
minimal risk of infection from handling playback equipment.
Ms. Hess went on to discuss precautions used by the health
care professionals that library workers could adopt to
protect themselves if they had concerns about possible
contamination.  They may wash their hands frequently, wear
gloves and eye protection, and cover their clothing.


Network librarians also raised concerns about the
hantavirus.  The CDC website
<http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/> provides a
wide range of information on hantavirus pulmonary syndrome
(HPS), including contact telephone numbers for individual
state health departments.

We recommend that network libraries contact appropriate
health departments in cases where outbreaks of HPS are
reported and where there is concern that materials returned
to the library may be contaminated.

It is our understanding from the CDC website noted above
that:

__hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is caused by a virus
hosted by species of mice and rats that live around and in
homes or may seek indoor shelter to escape inclement
weather;

__that the virus is excreted in the urine and feces of the
host;

__that the virus remains viable in dried urine and feces
because of a fatty (lipid) sheath surrounding it;

__that disturbing the excreted urine or feces of host
animals in a manner to make particles, including the lipid
sheathed virus, airborne (aerosolization) can expose humans
to infection (an example CDC uses is sweeping out a long
deserted shed or cabin); and

__that thorough soaking of suspected contamination with a 10
percent solution of household bleach will dissolve the lipid
sheath and permit disinfecting and cleanup without the
potential for aerosolization.

On the basis of this information, we recommend that network
libraries and repair groups continue to use common sense in
handling equipment.  The virus has been most commonly
contracted by persons who disturb a nesting area for
rodents, particularly in sweeping up an unused shed, cabin,
or other interior space where mice might have nested.  While
it is not impossible that a playback machine can have been
in quarters inhabited by mice, it is unlikely that the
equipment will have been used for nesting.

Should you encounter a playback machine that shows evidence
of having been nested in or on by rodents, the surface
should be thoroughly wetted with a spray bottle containing a
bleach solution prepared with 1.5 cups of household bleach
in one gallon of water.  The surface should then be cleaned
and disinfected before further handling and/or disposed.

For further information contact:

Carolyn Hoover Sung
Chief
Network Division


[Attachment: This Bulletin contained an attachment that was
mailed to the network on May 19, 2000.]

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