Biosecurity Queensland has alerted Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA) that they have quarantined a property in the Gladstone of Central Queensland after a deceased horse tested positive for Hendra virus infection. The Queensland Government's new Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said the horse had been unwell for a number of days and was found dead on Thursday [17th July].
“The positive test result was received last night,” Dr Crook said. “Tracing and exposure assessments are being undertaken on other horses that may have had contact with the infected horse to work out if further testing needs to be done. "The property has been quarantined which means restrictions apply to moving horses and horse materials on and off the property. The quarantine will be in place for at least one month.”
Queensland Health is following up all human contacts. At this stage it appears no one is at serious risk.
Dr Crook said this was the third case of Hendra virus in Queensland 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.
Dr Crook who is an AVA member delivered this important message on Hendra vaccination: "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."
At the Bain Fallon Conference on the Gold Coast last week, EVA's new President for 2014/15, Dr Nathan Anthony said that he was making the continued emphasis to encourage horse owners to Hendra vaccinate their horses a priority of his term as EVA President. The campaign will be called "Enough is Enough: Vaccinate Your Horses Now!"
For EVA's quick, 10 minute video instructional manual on the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) CLICK HERE .
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