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 guide for looking after Hendra Virus horses:
- Disposable gloves (preferably nitrile), double-gloved
- Impervious coveralls
- Impervious boot covers
- P2 respirators
- Eye protection
RCR International recommends contacting the state’s department or primary industries for more information about the Hendra Virus.