Written by: Clark Farm Equipment
Posted on: 24 Jun 2019
Topic: Clark Farm Equipment News
The Hendra Virus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can transfer from animals to humans. The virus occurs naturally in flying foxes, where it causes little to no sign of illness. Horses contract the virus and become infected if they consume water or food contaminated with saliva, urine, faces or birthing fluids of infected flying foxes (fruit bats).
Although the virus is rare for humans to contract, 4 out of 7 humans have died from the illness so far, whilst 83 horses have died from the disease as of 2019. The fatality rate in humans is 60% and in horses it is 75%.
The virus can cause a broad range of symptoms in horses, therefore the virus should be considered in any sick animals where the cause of illness is unknown, particularly where there is rapid deterioration associated with respiratory or nervous signs. It is also important to be aware that horses may be infectious before they show any symptoms of the illness, therefore prevention methods are vital in stopping the spread of the disease.
Common symptoms associated with the Hendra Virus, include:
A registered vaccine is available to help prevent the Hendra Virus in horses and is the most effective method to help manage the disease. A first dose is administered, followed up by an additional dose 3 weeks after. This is followed by a periodic booster at 6 months, trailed by an annual 12 month booster shot. Additional prevention methods include: