Hendra virus information for veterinarians

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 80 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 work 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 (PPE) are required to manage potential exposure.

This guide provides information on implementing appropriate infection control procedures, safely managing HeV risks when investigating illness in horses, sampling and testing, and past HeV cases.