Veterinarian guidelines and assistance for handling Hendra virus in horses

The Guidelines for veterinarians handling potential Hendra virus infection in horses (PDF, 899KB) is currently under review. Biosecurity Queensland is working with relevant stakeholders and a new version will be available soon.

Hendra virus (HeV) is a disease that can produce life-threatening illness in horses and humans. It has claimed the lives of several people and more than 70 horses across Queensland and New South Wales since its discovery in 1994.

HeV has the potential to be a serious zoonotic disease, so rigorous biosecurity and safety measures are required. Public health and workplace health and safety issues must be considered.

Veterinarians must take stringent precautions to manage the level of risk when investigating potential HeV cases. Careful, safe work practices and the proper use of personal protective equipment are required to manage potential exposure.

This guide gives you resources to help implement appropriate infection control procedures to manage the risk from HeV when investigating illness in horses. It includes information about:

  • sampling and tests
  • safely managing the risks involved
  • rebates for personal protective equipment
  • past HeV cases.