New hendra virus death shows vaccination need
WHILE the Tarampa property where a horse tested positive for hendra virus last month remains under quarantine, another horse has become a victim of the disease.
The horse, which had not been vaccinated against the virus, was put down on Friday at Mudgeeraba, in the Gold Coast hinterland, after it was confirmed it had contracted the bat-borne virus.
Queensland's chief veterinary officer Dr Rick Symons said the Gold Coast horse, the fourth hendra victim in the state this year, was unrelated to the death three weeks ago of the mare in the Somerset region.
According to Biosecurity Queensland, the Tarampa property and one neighbouring property will be under quarantine for at least a month while animals are tested and monitored.
During the quarantine period restrictions will be enforced for moving horse and horse materials.
Dr Symons said the short period between the hendra detections emphasised that most hendra virus incidents occurred in June to August. He said it was another reminder to horse owners that it was important for them to take steps to reduce the risk of hendra virus infection.
He said vaccination was the single most effective way to reduce the risk of virus infection in horses.
He recommended horse owners speak to their veterinarian about the option of vaccinating their horse against the virus.
Reduce the risk of hendra
- Horse feed and water containers should be removed from under trees
- Ensure that sick horses are isolated from other horses
- Horses should be removed from paddocks where flowering/fruiting trees are attracting flying foxes
- Make sure gear exposed to any body fluids from horses is cleaned and disinfected before it is used on another horse