Hendra virus detected in Mackay horse

News release | 09-Jul-2022

Biosecurity Queensland is managing Queensland’s first case of Hendra virus since 2017 after receiving a positive test result from a horse in the Mackay area on 8 July 2022.

Biosecurity Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said one horse had been euthanased 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 practise good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures even if a horse is vaccinated against Hendra virus.”

More information on the prevention of Hendra virus or biosecurity steps in an incident is available at www.business.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 25 23.

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Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au