Keeping pets healthy can reduce infection risks for people who have received solid organ transplants and veterinarians should be seen as an integral part of the healthcare team. That's just one of the key pieces of advice from a safe living article published in an infectious diseases supplement in the American Journal of Transplantation.
The supplement -- the second issue of guidelines authored by members of the American Society of Transplantation's Infectious Diseases Community of Practice -- provides advice on the infection-related challenges facing clinicians caring for people who have received solid organ transplants. These include respiratory viral infections -- a vital issue during the current pandemic -- guidance on vaccinations and advice on how to handle patients with conditions such as HIV, herpes, Candida and viral hepatitis.
"Transplant recipients face a heightened infection risk long after the initial post transplant period and have to adapt their lives to minimise exposure to potential sources" says Dr Robin K Avery from the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA.
"Our paper aims to highlight the infection risks that transplant recipients experience in their daily lives. These include pet ownership, food safety, safe sex, sporting activities and work-related issues."
Avoiding infection should be an important part of everyday life. For example, transplant recipients should be advised to:
"Transplant recipients are living longer and more and more are returning to active lives, including work and recreation" says Dr Avery, who co-authored the paper with Professor Marian G Michaels from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "With careful thought and detailed patient education, many potential infection risks can be prevented.
"Occupational counselling can enable transplant recipients to find safer ways to do the jobs that they love and knowing the risks posed by food, animals and environmental factors can help them stay out of hospital and lead healthy, meaningful and long lives."
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