Hendra virus and personal protective equipment

Hendra virus detected in Mackay

A confirmed case of Hendra virus has been detected in the Mackay area on 8 July 2022.

This is Queensland's first case of Hendra virus since 2017.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your animal may have Hendra virus infection. Veterinarians that suspect Hendra virus infection in a patient should follow standard procedures to investigate the situation.

The potential seriousness of Hendra virus for humans means that you must take appropriate measures to prevent infection. Adopt sound hygiene and biosecurity measures as a routine practice for all horse contact.

We strongly advise that you avoid contact with sick horses until a veterinarian has excluded Hendra virus infection as the cause of illness. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important part of personal safety when dealing with sick animals.

If contact with a sick horse is absolutely unavoidable you should seek advice from your veterinarian about appropriate PPE to be worn while dealing with the sick horse. Use PPE correctly and always wash your hands thoroughly after removing it.

PPE kit

If you own or care for a horse, you should have a PPE kit. Consult your veterinarian about the appropriate items to include in the kit. You can purchase the items for a PPE kit from safety equipment retailers, most hardware stores or veterinary clinics.

A kit may contain:

  • hand cleansers
  • soap
  • disinfectants
  • waste disposal bags
  • disposable gloves
  • overalls
  • rubber boots
  • facial shields
  • safety glasses
  • P2 mask – this is the minimum recommended level of respiratory protection. Surgical masks do not provide respiratory protection.

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