Hendra case confirmed in Queensland

BIOSECURITY Queensland has confirmed it is managing a new hendra virus case in a horse in Queensland. 

A press release issued this afternoon said the positive test result from the horse in the Gold Coast Hinterland area had been received last night. 

Queensland Chief Biosecurity Officer Dr Jim Thompson said one horse had been euthanised on the property after rapid deterioration.

"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," Dr Thompson said.

"We will work with the property owners to ensure the risk is contained on the property."

Queensland Health's public health experts are assessing the situation today to determine if any humans had contact with the infected horse and will provide any assistance, treatment or testing as the case unfolds.  

Dr Thompson said this was the first 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," he said.

"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.

"The deceased horse had not been vaccinated for hendra virus.

"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."

For more information on prevention of Hendra virus or biosecurity steps in an incident, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.

For information on the vaccine, visit www.health4horses.com.au