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RCR International cautions horse owners of Hendra Virus

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RCR International cautions equine owners of the breakout in the Hendra Virus. Since June 2011, the Hendra Virus has confirmed 8 horse deaths in Queensland and 4 horse deaths in New South Wales. Strict biosecurity procedures around potentially sick horses will be the utmost importance for all horse owners.

RCR International presents a hygiene practice guide in caring for sick horses and preventing the Hendra Virus from spreading to other horses.

Hygiene guide in looking after Hendra Virus horses:

  • Wash hands with soap and water between contact with horses, especially after handling your horse’s mouth or nose
  • Cover any cuts and scratches
  • Avoid contact with blood or other bodily fluids (especially respirator and nasal secretions, saliva and urine) and tissues
  • Shower after contact with sick horses
  • Attend to sick horses last (healthy first)
  • Feed and water from a distance
  • Observe horses from a distance and notify your veterinarian immediately of any change in the health status of any horse
  • Stop movement of horses, equipment, personnel and horse manure on or off the property
  • Separate clean and infected areas of the property if possible
Personal Protection Equipment serves of great importance in both maintaining the horses’ health and ensuring biosecurity procedures. RCR International indicates the personal protection equipment needed in looking after Hendra Virus horses.

Personal Protection Equipment guide for looking after Hendra Virus horses:

  • Disposable gloves (preferably nitrile), double-gloved
  • Impervious coveralls
  • Impervious boot covers
  • P2 respirators
  • Eye protection
Always perform hand hygiene after removing Personal Protection Equipment. Ensure adequate supplies of Personal Protection Equipment are always there for return visits.

RCR International recommends contacting the state’s department or primary industries for more information about the Hendra Virus.

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