Reducing the Risk of Hendra Virus in Horses

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Did you know the Hendra virus is one of Australia’s most lethal viruses for the horse industry? Also known as the equine industry, is the economic activity associated with horses. This includes core agribusiness activities related to the use, possession or ownership of horses.

Flying foxes (bats) are not only associated with COVID-19, but they are also a natural host for the Hendra virus and it is contracted by horses through the ingestion of feed or water contaminated with the saliva, urine, faeces, and reproductive fluids of the flying fox.

⚠️ Clinical signs in horses may include:

  • Fever

  • Shifting of weight between legs

  • Increased respiratory rate

  • Depression

  • Nasal discharge

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Head tilting/circling

  • Muscle Twitching

Transmission of the Hendra virus from an infected horse to a person occurs through close contact with respiratory secretions and/or blood. Summit Biosecurity was used throughout the Hunter region during the last major outbreak to monitor horse breeding facilities for equine flu which is also highly contagious.

✅ Effective management of public health risks is vital. Summit Vector Control standardises data collection, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and record keeping. In order to collate and share quality-assured data for Vector Control, Biosecurity and Biodiversity studies, contact us.