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Vets Warn "Vigilance" Best Hendra Protection

Monday, 4th July 2011

The Australian Veterinary Association announced veterinarians “are eagerly awaiting a horse vaccine against Hendra virus”, but in the meantime “knowledge & vigilance are the way to stay safe”. AVA president Dr Barry Smyth said: “Horse owners & vets in Queensland are feeling understandably nervous with the latest equine Hendra case, but knowing what to look for & being careful around sick horses will help keep people safe from this virus. Hendra virus cases are fairly uncommon & it’s not terribly contagious. People can only be infected by significant contact with a horse that has the disease. However, the consequences of infection are extremely serious. Horse owners around Australia need to be very careful when dealing with sick horses. The signs of Hendra can be quite varied & mimic other less serious conditions. So you should practise good hygiene around sick horses, limit contact with their body fluids & call a vet as soon as you notice any signs of illness. These include fever, depression, wobbly or unstable movement, trouble breathing or nasal discharge.”

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