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Testing continues on horses exposed to Hendra

July 12, 2011

The first round of tests on samples from seven Park Ridge horses in Queensland are negative for Hendra virus.

Queensland's chief veterinary officer, Dr Rick Symons, said while the results were promising, more tests needed to be undertaken.

"This was the first of three rounds of testing, after it was confirmed on July 5 that a Park Ridge horse had died of Hendra virus," Symons said.

"The second and third round of testing will take place over the coming month."

In all, seven horses have died from the virus in Queensland and New South Wales in little more than a fortnight.

At least 30 people are also being monitored for signs of infection, after coming into contact with horses who contracted the virus, which is carried by native fruit bats.

Symons said horses at Beaudesert, possibly exposed when a horse died of Hendra Virus there last month, would undergo their second round of testing this week.

"We also have good news for a property at Park Ridge, which is no longer under quarantine after it was assessed to be at low risk.

"This means the number of properties quarantined as a result of the Hendra virus in Queensland is down from nine to eight and the number of horses being monitored and tested is 40."

Symons reminded people that Hendra virus is not highly contagious and apart from the eight quarantined properties, there were no restrictions on horse movement in Queensland.

"While people are free to move their horses, we would encourage them to adopt good biosecurity practices," he said.

"If your horse is unwell do not work on it or transport it, especially to places where there are other horses.

"It is better to leave the horse at home, segregate it and call your veterinarian."



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