News

Owners on alert over hendra outbreak

NSW Ministry of Health has offered some simple pieces of advice to reduce the risk of becoming infected with hendra virus.
NSW Ministry of Health has offered some simple pieces of advice to reduce the risk of becoming infected with hendra virus.

THE North Coast Public Health Unit is reminding all horse owners and residents to be aware that NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is managing an outbreak of Hendra virus in horses in the area, with four horses dying from Hendra infection since early June.

Public Health Director, Paul Corben said that public health staff are working closely with the DPI and Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) to investigate potential human health aspects of the outbreak.

"Public Health Unit staff have interviewed people who may have had contact with Hendra-infected horses to assess their level of exposure and their risk of infection. Thankfully so far all contacts of these horses have been assessed as having low to negligible risk of infection," Mr Corbin said.

"While all of the human infections that have occurred in the past have been linked to high levels of exposure to infected horses, four of the seven people who have been infected with Hendra have died. So, it is particularly important to protect yourself, other people and your horses from infection."

"There is no evidence of human-to-human or flying fox-to-human spread of Hendra virus. Horses may shed Hendra virus before they show any signs of illness, so it is always important to use good hygiene practices when around horses" Mr Corben said.

NSW Ministry of Health advises people to always take the following steps to reduce the risk of becoming infected with Hendra virus:

  • cover any cuts or abrasions on exposed skin before handling horses and wash your hands well with soap and water especially after handling your horse's mouth or nose (eg. fitting or removing bridle) and before eating, smoking or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • do not kiss your horse on the muzzle (especially if the horse is sick).
  • use personal protective equipment to protect yourself from the body fluids of horses
  • if your horse becomes unwell, minimise contact with the horse and call your vet to have the horse assessed. If you think there's any chance that your horse may be infected with Hendra, share this concern with your vet so she/he can take appropriate precautions when assessing the horse.

Topics:  hendra virus, nsw department of primary industries



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Justice denied for Bowraville families

Protestors are demanding justice for the families of three children murdered at Bowraville in 1991-92.

Victims' families are rallying for double jeopardy reform.

Vandals strike at Dolphin Marine Magic ahead of protest

Vandals have smashed windows and graffitied Dolphin Marine Magic overnight.

Dolphin Marine Magic vandalism attack ahead of a protest

ABS data reveals regional job woes

JOB DROUGHT: New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal there are fewer full-time job opportunities in regional NSW.

ABS data reveals fewer than 5000 full-time regional NSW created

Latest deals and offers


PBR Fraser Coast highlights

Professional Bull Riders / PBR , Hervey Bay Seafront Oval - Troy Wilkinson on Unearthed. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Highlights from Rural Weekly PBR Live Series round at Hervey Bay, Queensland on...

Protestor interrupts dolphin show

Protestor campaigns against Dolphin Marine Magic during a recent show.

Blake Lively Film Shot on Gold Coast

Blake Lively in The Shallows.

New trailer for shark thriller The Shallows starring Blake Lively.

Korora property provides the resort lifestyle

Live the resort lifestyle at Korora

Like to live in your own resort?

Renting harder in Coffs than Sydney

HIGH DEMAND: Coffs Harbour rental properties are in higher demand than in Sydney.

Coffs Harbour’s rental vacancy rate at lowest level in eight years

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog