Hendra virus is an infection 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 the fact sheet or contact your local public health unit on 1300 066 055.
People who may have been exposed to a horse with a Hendra virus infection may need to be monitored for signs of the illness - see the Information for people who are being monitored for Hendra virus infection fact sheet.
Additional Hendra exposure assessment resources for NSW public health units are available on PopNet (see Response Protocols for NSW Public Health Units – managing human contacts and testing procedures.
Hendra virus in horses
The Department of Primary Industries (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 horses. 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 (PPE) should have contact with the horses until the diagnosis is confirmed or excluded.
For further information see the DPI Hendra virus website.