Hendra virus case confirmed in Chinchilla area
News release | 24 July, 2011
Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed a Hendra case on a property in the Chinchilla area.
Queensland Chief Biosecurity Officer Dr Jim Thompson said Biosecurity Queensland officers were on site quarantining the property.
"The infected horse had shown rapid onset of illness that was typical of Hendra virus and died in the care of a private practitioner on Friday." Dr Thompson said.
"We understand there are four other horses on the property but full tracing is also being undertaken to locate any other horses that may have been in contact with the infected horse.
"Biosecurity Queensland and Queensland Health staff will be on the ground doorknocking neighbours to gather information on their animals and provide them with information about Hendra virus.
"The property is being quarantined to restrict the movement of horses on and off. Each of the four remaining horses on the property will be sampled and undergo three rounds of testing before they are cleared - this is typically 30 to 35 days."
Queensland Health, key horse industry groups and the Australian Veterinary Association have been notified of this latest case.
Queensland Health Chief Health officer Dr Jeannette Young said staff were on the property today to assess the situation and whether any testing or treatment is required.
Queensland Health staff will continue to undertake contact tracing work to ensure all people potentially exposed to the sick horse have been identified.
Queensland Health stands ready to provide any assistance, counselling, information, testing or treatment that may be required.
Dr Thompson said this Hendra virus infection was the furthest west that a Hendra case had been recorded.
"This highlights the need for horse owners across the state to be vigilant for signs consistent with Hendra virus infection.
"Hendra virus is not highly infectious and, consequently, the horse industry is not subject to movement restrictions for Hendra virus - except for the properties currently under quarantine.
"However, horse owners need to take precautions on their properties to protect their horses from Hendra virus infection.
"For example, owners could remove horse feed and water containers from under trees and, if possible, place them under a shelter.
"Remove horses from paddocks where flowering/fruiting trees are attracting flying foxes and return horses only after the trees have stopped flowering/fruiting and the flying foxes have left.
"Owners should also consider fencing off access to trees that are identified as attractive to flying foxes."
Hendra in Queensland snapshot as at 24 July 2011:
- Locations with confirmed cases - Beaudesert, Mt Alford, Park Ridge, Kuranda, Hervey Bay, Boondall, Logan, Chinchilla
- Horse deaths - 10
- Horses being monitored - 83 plus 4 horses at this stage at Chinchilla
- People being tested - 57, not including Chinchilla cases yet to be confirmed.
Up-to-date information on Hendra virus is available at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or phone 13 25 23.
Media contact: , 0439 875 593