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Hendra Virus Alert in Atherton, Far North Queensland

Confirmed Hendra case in FNQ

Horse owners are reminded to take steps to protect their animals from the risk of Hendra virus infection, with the confirmation of a new case on the Atherton Tablelands.

Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Allison Crook, said a property had been quarantined after a horse died on the site earlier this week.

"Testing has confirmed the horse had the virus," Dr Crook said.

“This is the first case of Hendra virus detected in Queensland this year."

"There are a number of other horses on the property and we'll be monitoring them over the coming weeks. Biosecurity staff will also be conducting tracing to confirm whether this horse had any contact with other horses in the area.

"While the property is under quarantine, there are restrictions on the movement of horses and materials on and off the property."

Equine Veterinarians Australia has reported that 6 of 9 horses on the property were Hendra vaccinated, and as such will soon be released from quarantine because of their vaccination status. The now-euthanased horse was an unvaccinated, aged Quarterhorse gelding on a cattle property near Atherton in Far North Queensland. 

Dr Crook said Hendra virus infection could occur throughout the year, so it was important that horse owners took steps to protect themselves and their animals at all times.

"Vaccination is the best defence against Hendra virus infection and horse owners should discuss their options with their veterinarian," she said.

"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."



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