Hendra virus

Reviewed: 4 September 2015

Current situation September 2015 

NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has confirmed Hendra virus as the cause of death of a horse near Lismore on the NSW north coast.

DPI has confirmed the horse had not been vaccinated for Hendra virus. This is the second Hendra case in NSW this year, following another one at Murwillumbah in June.

Horse owners and vets are encouraged to download the latest information on Hendra virus from the DPI website and if a horse becomes sick, owners should contact their vet immediately.

Media release 4 September  2015: Hendra virus confirmed near Lismore

Hendra Virus Vaccine

A Hendra virus vaccine for horses produced by a commercial manufacturer was released on Thursday 1 November 2012. Vaccination is the single most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses. Human infection and death have occurred following high-level exposure to body fluids from an infected horse. Vaccinating horses is an important measure to prevent this occurring and provides a public health and workplace health and safety benefit.

The vaccine has been released under special conditions and only veterinarians who have completed an online training module managed by the manufacturer will be accredited to order and administer the vaccine.

For more information see:

General information on Hendra virus

Information for vets

Information for event organisers

Information for those who own or handle horses

Response documents

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Report suspect cases

Hendra is a notifiable emergency animal disease. If you suspect your horse has Hendra virus keep everyone away from the horse and call your private veterinarian immediately. The vet will notify Local Land Services or an inspector with NSW DPI, if they consider the case highly suspect for Hendra.

If they are unavailable, and the illness is progressing rapidly, call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Media resources

Pictures, video and audio resources

Effect on humans

NSW Health provides information on how hendra virus can affect people.