10 Bull Street, Warwick Farm, NSW 2170
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am to 11:00am
After Hours Equine Emergencies are seen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hendra Virus is a zoonotic disease, a virus transmissible from horses to people. It causes sporadic disease in horses, with a horse case fatality rate of 75% and human case fatality rate of 57% (4/7). It is current national policy that any horse that survives HeV infection be euthanased.
The natural hosts of HeV are flying foxes (fruit bats). There is a low but real risk of HeV spread via body fluids of flying foxes to horses, and via body fluids of horses (including blood and tissues) to people. There has been no evidence of human-to-human or flying fox-to-human spread of HeV. To date, HeV has been diagnosed in horses in Queensland and northern NSW. However there is potential for HeV infection in horses wherever flying foxes are found (northern parts of WA and NT, northern and eastern parts of QLD, east coast of NSW, and coastal parts of VIC).
If you suspect HeV, contact your local veterinarian immediately. If you cannot reach them, contact the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 (24 hours). Explain you are calling to notify a suspected HeV case (which is a legal obligation), and they will go through the case with you and provide professional advice. Isolate the horse if possible, then shower, change clothes and stay away from other horses.
Flying foxes are protected animals; attempted culling is unnecessary, ineffective and illegal. They are an important part of our natural environment, pollinating our native trees and spreading seeds.
Research into HeV is ongoing. A HeV vaccine for horses is under research and is anticipated to begin clinical field trials by the end of 2012.
For the latest information on Hendra Virus in New South Wales, please visit the NSW DPI website.
For the latest information on Hendra Virus in Queensland, please visit the QLD DPI website.
If you have any questions regarding Hendra Virus, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our veterinarians.
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Warwick Farm Equine Centre