Prevention of the Hendra Virus
Prevention of the Hendra Virus
Vaccination of horses provides a public health and workplace health and safety benefit by reducing the risk of Hendra virus transmission to humans and other susceptible animals. Whenever Hendra virus infection is suspected, even in vaccinated horses, appropriate biosecurity precautions including personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used as no vaccine can provide 100% guaranteed protection.
Hendra virus prevention requires stringent work health and safety and biosecurity measures. A registered vaccine is available to help prevent Hendra virus disease in horses. Vaccination of horses is the most effective way to help manage Hendra virus disease.
WEB AUTHORS NOTE : * Contentious- Please refer to the Vaccination Page for further details and information
OTHER MEASURES TO REDUCE HENDRA INFECTIONS INCLUDE-
Horse feed and water troughs that are beneath trees should be moved under shelter to avoid possible
Bats are attracted to fruiting and flowering trees.
A favourite source of feeding includes fig trees, fruiting palms and native trees in flower. High risk areas include areas directly under trees where bats congregate to feed
Contamination by flying fox fluids: Restricting horse access under trees where flying foxes are known to roost, stabling at night,
Quarantining sick horses is also recommended- Avoid close contact with suspect infected horse/s and other horses that have been in contact with them
protect horse food and water from contamination by flying fox fluids,
Do not place feed and water under trees.
Cover feed and water containers with a shelter so they cannot be contaminated from above.
Do not leave food lying about that could attract flying foxes, such as apples, carrots, or molasses.
Inspect paddocks regularly and identify trees that are flowering or fruiting,
Remove horses from paddocks where fruiting or flowering trees have temporarily attracted flying foxes.
If the horse(s) cannot be removed from the paddock, erect temporary or permanent fencing to keep horses from grazing under trees.
If these measures are not practical, consider stabling horses, or removing them from the paddock before dusk and overnight, when flying foxes are most active.
Clean up any fruit debris under the trees before horses are returned to the paddock.
isolate sick horses early while awaiting test results, and
pay attention to standard hygiene and cleaning practices.
Always handle healthy animals before handling sick animals
Ideally you should avoid all contact with suspect horses until a veterinarian has investigated and provided advice on the safe handling of affected horses.
Only handle sick horses after taking appropriate precautions including using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Make sure all equipment exposed to any body fluids from horses is cleaned and disinfected before it is used on another horse. This includes halters, lead ropes and twitches.
Ask your veterinarian about which cleaning agents and disinfectants to use.
Do not travel with, work on or take sick horses to other properties or equestrian events.
Do not allow visiting horse practitioners (e.g. farriers) to work on sick horses.
Seek veterinary advice before bringing any sick horse onto your property.
Whenever Hendra virus infection is suspected, even in vaccinated horses, appropriate biosecurity precautions including personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used as no vaccine can provide 100% guaranteed protection. If you have handled a sick horse, before you contact other horses:
wash off any contamination with plenty of soap and water
shower and wash your hair
disinfect your footwear and wash your clothes.
HENDRA VIRUS INFECTION -PREVENTION ADVICE -QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT October 2014
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
Everyone handling a sick horse or a horse on which procedures such as dentistry or stomach
tubing is being conducted should wear full PPE.
PPE must be fitted correctly.
When using PPE:
• Cover cuts and abrasions with a water-resistant dressing.
• Put on PPE before approaching the horse.
• After handling the horse, remove and dispose of PPE carefully into waste bags, making
Types of personal protective equipment:
Respiratory protection - for example, disposable, cartridge, air line, half or full face.
Eye protection – for example, spectacles/goggles, shields, visors.
Hand protection – for example, gloves and barrier creams.
QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
SUMMARY REPORT: OUTCOMES OF AN AUDIT OF HENDRA VIRUS RISK MANAGEMENT IN THE VETERINARY INDUSTRY 2010
LIST OF CONTACTS - QUEENSLAND
Phone: 13 25 23 (business hours)
Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline
1800 675 888 (anytime)
Coopers Plains Laboratory
Health and Food Sciences Precinct Specimen Receipt (Loading Block 12)
39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains Qld 4108
Phone: (07) 3276 6062
Phone: 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84)
Queensland Health public health unit contact details are available at:
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland
Phone: 1300 369 915
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
Phone: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)