KENNETT SQUARE, PA -- Tyvek suits,
facemasks, and gloves are the attire
these days for Penn's New Bolton Center staffers who are scrubbing
treatment rooms, barns, and equipment. "Since we closed on May 10 we have scrubbed the entire hospital," says Bruce Rappoport, director
of the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals. "We have
cultured the more than 70 buildings at New Bolton Center as well as
our entire animal population, cows, horses, llamas, and pigs."
The culture results revealed that the
Salmonella organism, which caused the closing, is
confined to a few areas in the Widener Hospital.
"The other buildings on campus, like the Allam House, the library,
dairy, as well as our vehicles, were all negative as were the
our animals," Rappoport says. "Thus our field service could continue
make farm calls as its vehicles operate from an area away from the
Hospital. Veterinarians drop off laboratory work and our pathology
accepts animals for autopsies. The reproduction clinic at the
Center is open."
The entire hospital, its barns, and
the equipment have been cleaned and
disinfected. After that, the barns were sandblasted. Now their bare
walls are being disinfected once more, prior to being painted.
Dirt floors in the barn stalls have
been dug up and removed. A new drainage system is being installed in
the barns prior to new concrete floors being poured. "This is a
major undertaking," says Rappoport. "We are committed to making the
facility as safe for our patients as possible."
Rappoport notes that there has been
no human case of Salmonella infection at New Bolton Center,
nor have any of the resident animals come down with the disease. "We
are continuing with our cleaning efforts and hope to reopen the
entire Widener Hospital once it cultures clear. We are aiming
for August 2," says Rappoport.