The Queensland government reported Saturday the states first Hendra virus case in five years (2017) in a city of Mackay horse.
Biosecurity Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said one horse had been euthanized on the property after its condition rapidly deteriorated.
“Tracing and risk assessments have been undertaken on other animals on the property,” Dr Crook said.
“We are working with the property and horse owners to ensure the risk is contained on the property.
“We are also working with Queensland Health’s Public Health experts to determine if any humans had contact with the infected horse and stand ready to provide any assistance, counselling, information, testing or treatment that may be required.”
Dr Crook said vaccinating horses was the most effective way to help manage Hendra virus disease.
“Unfortunately, in this case, the deceased horse had not been vaccinated for Hendra virus,” Dr Crook said.
“Hendra virus infection can occur throughout the year, so it’s important that horse owners take steps to protect themselves and their animals at all times.
“If a horse becomes sick, owners should contact their veterinarian immediately.
“People in contact with horses need to remember to continue to practice good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures even if a horse is vaccinated against Hendra virus.”
Hendra virus is a zoonotic disease, which means it can transfer from animals to people. The virus was first isolated in 1994 in horses at a racing stable in Hendra, Brisbane.
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