Hendra Virus

What is the Hendra Virus?

Hendra Virus is a deadly virus affecting both horses and humans. Hendra was first discovered here in Mackay in 1994 and is a natural virus in the flying fox population which can be transferred to horses through contaminated saliva, urine, faeces or foetal fluids.

Hendra can be shed throughout the horse community as they are contagious before any symptoms of the virus develop. Humans become infected when they are in close contact with infected horse’s bodily fluids such as blood, saliva and nasal discharge.

The good news is that a vaccine has been developed for horses to decrease the virus from spreading within Australia.

The vaccination must be given by an accredited veterinarian and the information on the vaccinated horse must be recorded on a central data base for management of the spread of disease through horses and humans. The horse requires to be microchipped and the microchip number will be recorded. At this stage the vaccination can be given to horses over the age of 4-6 months and is safe to administer during pregnancy.

What vaccinations are available?

We have 5 accredited veterinarians, permitted to administer the vaccination. All horses from 4-6 months of age can receive the vaccine which entails 2 injections that are given 21 days apart. This is followed by a 6 month booster then the vaccination can be given annually.

All horses receiving the vaccine MUST be microchipped though this can be done at the same time as the first vaccination. Horse owners are encouraged to contact Valley veterinary surgery to organise an appointment. Vaccines can be done on your property or you can float your horse to our surgery to be vaccinated in the float.

To book an appointment please call us on 4959 2099.