Hendra virus information for industry and horse owners

Hendra virus is a zoonotic disease carried by flying foxes that can produce life-threatening illness in horses and humans.

While common in flying fox populations, the likelihood of horses or humans contracting the disease remains very low.

First discovered in 1994 at a racing stable in the Brisbane suburb of Hendra, it has caused the death of more than 70 horses across Queensland and New South Wales. It also claimed the lives of 4 out of the 7 humans infected between 1994 and 2014.

This guide explains:

  • what Hendra virus is and how it spreads
  • how to reduce the risk of spreading the virus on properties and at horse events
  • the role of flying foxes in spreading Hendra virus
  • how the virus affects other animals
  • what to do if you think your horse might have Hendra virus.
Last reviewed
October 11, 2016