By Edited Press Release
Jun 03, 2014
Animal health officials are managing a new equine hendra virus case in the Beenleigh, Queensland, Australia, area after a positive test result was received late on June 2.
Queensland Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Allison Crook, BVSc, MACVSc, said one horse has been euthanized on the property after becoming unwell over the weekend.
“There are two other horses on the property,” Crook said. “Tracing and risk assessments are being undertaken on any animals that may have had contact with the infected horse to work out if further testing needs to be done. We will contact other properties that we believe may have had contact with the infected animal.
“The property has been quarantined which means restrictions apply to moving horses and horse materials on and off the property,” she added. “The quarantine will be in place for at least one month.”
Queensland public health officials are assessing the situation today to determine if any humans had contact with the infected horse, and stand ready to provide any assistance, counseling, information, testing, or treatment that might be required.
Crook said this was the second case of hendra virus identified in Queensland horses this year.
“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,” she said. “The affected horse had not been vaccinated. Vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of hendra virus infection in horses. It is recommended that horse owners speak to their veterinarian about vaccinating their horses.
“If a horse becomes sick, owners should contact their veterinarian immediately,” Crook advised. “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.”