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Table 2 Summary of main barriers to infection control and Hendra virus management in private veterinary practices in Queensland, Australia, up until September 2010

From: Management of the slowly emerging zoonosis, Hendra virus, by private veterinarians in Queensland, Australia: a qualitative study

Main issues Related barriers
Work culture Longstanding observance of suboptimal IC practices;
Veterinarians' perception that zoonotic risks in equine veterinary practice were low;
Veterinarians' perception that they are more likely to be exposed to injury risks than infectious risks in equine practice;
Mitigation of injury risks more readily implemented by veterinarians than mitigation of infectious risks in equine practice;
Inadequate veterinary work habits perpetrated in some instances by poor professional mentorship during extramural undergraduate placement or during early career experiences.
Role of Government Suboptimal HeV testing pathways
Slow response from government authorities to the emergence of HeV and to HeV outbreaks
Suboptimal and conflicting communication of risk and risk mitigation from government authorities to veterinarians
Inconsistent government support for veterinarians throughout the state, with rural remote areas receiving less skilled technical support
Difficulties in complying and collaborating with WHS legislation and authorities
Managing animal and public health issues and a private business The logistical, financial and work time costs of implementing infection control changes within the context of running small private businesses
Difficulty in interpreting and enforcing WHS regulation
Mitigation of zoonotic risks interfering with the mitigation of injury risks
Lack of WHS legal protection when a third party breaches the legislation
Veterinarians' lack of experience choosing and using some of the PPE recommended
Inadequate, insufficient and inconsistent training of undergraduate veterinarians about IC and HeV management
Difficulty in implementing IC behavioural changes amongst veterinary staff
Difficulty inefficiently communicating with clients about HeV-related risks and risk mitigation recommendations
Uncertainty about the epidemiology of an emerging disease Slow emergence and sporadic nature of HeV outbreaks
Slow gathering and dissemination of epidemiological information
Misinterpretation of epidemiological information
Non-specific HeV case definition