Non-human primate exposures

First aid for injuries related to exposure to non-human primates or their tissues is always considered an emergency.  First aid should be performed before seeking medical care (unless the injury is severe) if:

  • an individual sustains a bite, scratch or splash to the mucous membranes of the eye or mouth or non-intact skin, from a nonhuman primate of the genus Macaque (examples: Rhesus, Pigtail, Cynomolgus), or
  • from ANY piece of equipment that may have been exposed to their secretions or blood, such as a needle stick or scratch from a macaque cage


  1. Immediately scrub the wound vigorously for 20 minutes with a disinfectant solution or flush eyes or mouth with saline/water for 15 minutes.
  2. Identify the primate/source.
  3. Inform your supervisor of the exposure.
  4. If your supervisor is unavailable, call the DCM office at (314) 362-3700 and Occupational Health Service (EHS) (314) 362-3528, Students call (SHS) (314) 362-3523 for instructions.
  5. If it is after hours or on the weekend, page DCM at (314) 841-5302 and Occupational Health at (314) 871-2966 (listen to the message for further instructions).
  6. Identify the animal or equipment that caused your injury.

Other animal-related injuries

It is important to report any animal’s bites, including rodent bites, to WUSM Occupational Health Services.

For non-emergent, routine treatment on regular workdays, Monday-Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., call (314) 362-3528 to report the incident.

After hours or on weekends, call the Occupational Health Service at (314) 871-2966 (listen to the directions for further instructions) to report the incident.