Health Surveillance

Regular health surveillance of workers significantly exposed is worthwhile. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the potential effects of allergen on health, investigate symptoms of allergy that the worker reports, and reinforce the need to report relevant symptoms if they do develop. Annual surveillance of exposed workers is typical. The majority of workers who develop allergic symptoms do so within two years of first exposure.3 During this period, more frequent surveillance may be warranted.

The basis of surveillance should be a questionnaire.76 Some centers may perform lung function tests, skin testing, and immunoassay, but there is no evidence that they have a quantitative value as routine screening tests. Individuals who have developed signs of LAA or asthma who do not cease working with animals should be carefully monitored at regular intervals while major efforts to reduce exposure are made and they are equipped with effective personal protection. Additional tests may have value in helping to reinforce the educational messages.

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