Horse owners are being warned to take extra caution after a horse was found infected with Hendra virus at a property near Murwillumbah in northern NSW.
Hendra virus is a potentially deadly virus that usually infects flying foxes but can be passed on to horses then on to people or other animals who come into close contact with the infected horse. The property, where the most recent infected horse was detected, has now been placed under movement restrictions.
NSW’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Christine Middlemiss, said this was the second confirmed case of the virus in the state this year – the first was in Lismore last month. Neither horses had been vaccinated against the virus.
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Dr Middlemiss said: “Vaccination remains the most effective way of reducing the risk of Hendra virus infection in Horses, but good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures should always be practiced
“Horses should also be kept away from flowering and fruiting trees that are attractive to bats. Do not place feed and water under trees and cover feed and water containers with a shelter so they cannot be contaminated from above,” Dr Middlemiss said.
If your horse is unwell, keep people and other animals away from the horse and call your veterinarian immediately.