The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Overview of Prion Diseases. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Safety Precautions

There have been no identified cases of occupational infections in the clinical laboratory resulting from contact with blood or other body fluids from human cases of prion diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that, with one exception, blood and body fluid specimens from patients with prion diseases not be considered infectious and that no special precautions are needed for their handling in clinical laboratories in excess of the general protective measures presently used.
The exception is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The WHO notes that CSF may be infectious and must be handled with great care. It recommends that CSF not be analyzed on automated equipment and any materials coming in contact with the infected CSF should be discarded and incinerated.
For surgical and dental procedures that may involve contact with highly-infective tissues, the WHO further recommends that single-use instruments should be employed, if possible, and incinerated after use. If re-usable instruments must be used they, too, should be discarded and incinerated.