New Hendra case on Gold Coast

BIOSECURITY Queensland has confirmed a Hendra virus case on a property in the Gold Coast hinterland.

Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Rick Symons said Biosecurity Queensland officers had quarantined the property.

"Samples were taken from a sick horse on the property yesterday with results confirming today that it was infected with Hendra virus,” Dr Symons said

"We understand there are a number of other horses on the property and full tracing is being undertaken to assess if these or any other horses have been in contact with the infected horse.

"Biosecurity Queensland and Queensland Health staff will be on the ground doorknocking neighbours to gather information on their animals and provide them with information about Hendra virus.

"The property has been quarantined to restrict the movement of horses on and off.

“Remaining horses on the property will be monitored and sampled, undergoing three rounds of testing before they are cleared - this is typically 30 to 35 days."

Queensland Health, key horse industry groups and the Australian Veterinary Association have been notified of this latest case.

Queensland Health Chief Health officer Dr Jeannette Young said staff were on the property today to assess the situation and whether any testing or treatment was required.

“Queensland Health staff will continue to undertake contact tracing work to ensure all people potentially exposed to the sick horse have been identified.

“Preliminary advice shows there have been two people who may have had limited contact with the horse.

“Queensland Health stands ready to provide any assistance, counselling, information, testing or treatment that may be required.”

Dr Symons said this Hendra virus infection highlighted the need for horse owners across the state to be vigilant for signs consistent with Hendra virus infection.

"Hendra virus is not highly infectious and, consequently, the horse industry is not subject to movement restrictions for Hendra virus - except for the properties currently under quarantine,” he said.

"However, horse owners need to take precautions on their properties to protect their horses from Hendra virus infection.

"For example, owners could remove horse feed and water containers from under trees and, if possible, place them under a shelter.

"Remove horses from paddocks where flowering/fruiting trees are attracting flying foxes and return horses only after the trees have stopped flowering/fruiting and the flying foxes have left.

"Owners should also consider fencing off access to trees that are identified as attractive to flying foxes.

“An information pack for horse owners on Hendra virus is available from the Biosecurity Queensland website.”

Nine locations in Queensland have had confirmed Hendra virus cases this year including Beaudesert, Mt Alford, Park Ridge, Kuranda, Hervey Bay, Boondall, Logan, Chinchilla and now the Gold Coast.

Up-to-date information on Hendra virus is available at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or phone 13 25 23.



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