Hendra virus is a virus that mainly infects large fruit bats (flying foxes) which can be passed on to horses. The infection has occasionally been passed onto people who have been in close contact with an infected horse.
For further information please see factsheet, or contact your local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055.
Hendra virus in Horses Alert - July 2013
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has recently reported that Hendra virus infections have been confirmed as the cause of a number of horse deaths on the NSW Mid-North Coast. The affected properties are all located in the Macksville and Kempsey areas.
DPI advises that if a horse is suspected to have a Hendra virus infection it is important to keep it away from all animals on the property. If possible, leave the sick horse where it is and move other animals away, rather than move the sick horse. This will minimise the area that is potentially contaminated.Exercise extreme caution and limit contact with suspected cases. In particular, avoid contact with any body fluids such as nasal secretions or saliva.
Only experienced veterinary staff who are using appropriate personal protective equipment should have contact with the horses until the diagnosis is known.
For further information see the DPI Hendra virus website.
Updates & other links:
Additional Hendra resources for NSW Public Health Units are avaialble on PopNet (see Response Protocols for NSW Public Health Units – managing human contacts and testing procedures).