By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
Officials in New South Wales (NSW) reported the first case of Hendra virus infection in NSW this year on a 17-year-old native horse that has not been vaccinated on a property south of Murwillumbah.
The owner noticed that the horse was depressed and had difficulty breathing on Friday, May 29. A private veterinarian takes samples for the exception of the Hendra virus, but his horse gets worse and euthanized over the weekend.
NSW Chief Veterinarian Officer, Dr. Sarah Britton said, A District Veterinarian from North Coast Local Land Services is conducting a risk assessment on the property in relation to other animals; at this stage no other animal shows signs of poor health and we will continue to monitor their health status.
“Hendra virus infections can be reported in NSW below NSW Biosecurity Act and the movement of animals and people inside and outside the property will be limited for at least 21 days. “
“Horse vaccination is the most effective way to help manage the Hendra virus disease,” said Dr. Britton.
“Owners must also keep their horses away from flowering and fruiting trees that are attractive to bats.
“Don’t put food and water under the tree and cover the feed and water containers with shelter so they can’t be contaminated from above.”
Since 2006, 23 confirmed horse deaths due to the Hendra virus have been reported in NSW.
Hendra virus is a zoonotic disease, which means it can move from animals to humans. This virus was first isolated in 1994 in horses in a racing enclosure in Hendra, Brisbane.
Flying foxes are a natural reservoir for the Hendra virus. Flying foxes show no signs of disease when infected with the Hendra virus.
Hendra virus can cause disease in horses but rarely occurs in humans. It can be transmitted from flying fox to horse, horse to horse, and horse to human.
There is no evidence that viruses can be transmitted from flying fox to humans, or humans to horses, or humans to humans. Some cases of Hendra virus infection in people are the result of very close contact with respiratory secretions (eg mucus) and / or blood from infected horses.
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