The potential seriousness of Hendra virus for humans means that you must implement appropriate measures to prevent infection. Adopt sound hygiene and biosecurity (animal disease control) measures as a routine practice for all horse contact.
We strongly advise that you avoid contact with sick horses until a veterinarian has excluded Hendra virus infection as the cause of illness. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important part of personal safety when dealing with sick animals.
If contact with a sick horse is absolutely unavoidable you should seek advice from your veterinarian about appropriate personal protective equipment to be worn while dealing with the sick horse. Use PPE correctly and always wash your hands thoroughly after removing PPE.
If you own or care for a horse, you should have a PPE kit. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate items to have in the PPE kit. You can purchase the items for a PPE kit from most hardware stores or veterinary clinics.
Always have the following in your kit:
- hand cleansers
- waste disposal bags
- disposable gloves
- rubber boots
- facial shields
- safety glasses
- P2 respirator (particulate respirator)-this is the minimum level of recommended respiratory protection. Surgical masks do not provide respiratory protection.
See more information about the safe use of personal protective equipment on the Australian Department of Health and Ageing website.
- What is Hendra virus?
- How Hendra virus spreads to horses and people
- Signs of Hendra virus in horses
- Reducing the risk of horses becoming infected
- Reducing the risk of people becoming infected
- What to do while waiting for test results
- What happens if your horse tests positive
- The role of flying foxes in Hendra virus
- The role of other animals in Hendra virus
- Frequently asked questions about dogs and Hendra virus
- Who to contact if you suspect Hendra virus