Reviewed: 3 Sep 2013
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:
Current situation September 2013
Hendra Virus has been confirmed in four horses and one dog on four separate properties on the NSW mid north Coast – two properties near Macksville and two properties near Kempsey.
Following extensive testing and decontamination, quarantine measures have now been lifted on all NSW properties.
In 2011 ten horses on eight properties died due to infection with Hendra virus. These cases occurred between June 30 and August 28. All properties affected were in north eastern NSW, in the localities of Wollongbar, Macksville, Lismore, Mullumbimby and Ballina.
Horse owners should remain vigilant and continue to take steps to minimise exposure of their horses. Horse owners should talk with their private veterinarian about vaccinating their horse. Horses should be kept away from flowering and fruiting trees that are attractive to bats. Any fruit lying underneath trees should be picked up and disposed of before the horses are returned to the paddock. People are reminded to use good hygiene practices when handling horses.
General information on Hendra virus
- Questions and Answers
- Questions and Answers - Domestic animals
- Hendra virus factsheet
- Management of Hendra virus on quarantined properties
- Waiting for Hendra test results
- Queensland Horse Council factsheet: Property design (www.qldhorsecouncil.com)
- Queensland Horse Council factsheet: Bats and trees (www.qldhorsecouncil.com)
Information for vets
- CVO bulletin to veterinarians re: Hendra virus 19 August 2013
- CVO bulletin to veterinarians re: Hendra virus 11 July 2013
- CVO bulletin to veterinarians re: Hendra virus 8 July 2013
- CVO bulletin to veterinarians re: Hendra virus 7 June 2013
- Biosecurity guidelines, sampling, submission, transport and packaging of specimens
Information for event organisers
- Guidelines for the management of suspect Hendra cases at horse events
- Horse Events: Biosecurity guidelines for organisers and competitors
- Horse Venue Biosecurity Workbook [www.farmbiosecurity.com.au]
Information for horse owners
- Biosecurity Bulletin 14th June 2013 Hendra
- Biosecurity Bulletin 10 July 2013 Hendra on Mid Coast
- Hendra virus - Safety alert for the horse industry
- Fact sheet from the Australian Veterinary Association
- Qld Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Hendra virus (www.daff.qld.gov.au)
- Policy, procedures and various forms relating to the Hendra virus response.
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.
Effect on humans
NSW Health provides information on how hendra virus can affect people.
- 31 Oct 2013World-first Hendra treatment one step closer [382.0 KB PDF]
- 20 Jul 2013Hendra virus confirmed in a dog on NSW mid north coast
- 10 Jul 2013Hendra virus claims fourth horse death on NSW mid north coast
- 08 Jul 2013Third Hendra case confirmed west of Kempsey
- 06 Jul 2013New Hendra case confirmed on NSW mid north coast
- 14 Jun 2013Owners encouraged to vaccinate their horses against Hendra