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Monthly Archives: July 2011

  • Hendra Virus Protective Equipment

    Posted on: 19, Jul

    How do I reduce the risk of becoming infected?

    Hendra virus is a public health concern and can create substantial workplace health and safety issues. It requires careful management.

    There are several steps you should take while you are waiting for veterinary confirmation of Hendra virus:

    1. Avoid close contact with suspect infected horse/s and other horses that have been in contact with them
    2. Isolate the suspected horse where possible—preferably by relocating other animals
    3. Observe suspect horse from a distance and notify your veterinarian if you notice changes in their condition
      1. Where possible, provide feed and water for the suspect horse/s from a distance
    4. If close contact with the suspect horse is necessary ensure you take the following precautions:
      1. If you have any cuts or abrasions, ensure they are covered with a water-resistant dressing
      2. Use personal protective equipment (PPE), covering hands with gloves, feet with boots, and clothing with overalls
      3. Wear a P2 mask (particulate respirator) and safety glasses. This should help to protect your face from potential contact with the suspect horse’s bodily fluids (saliva, nasal secretions, blood and urine)
      4. Remove and dispose of PPE carefully
      5. Wash your hands carefully with soap/disinfectant after all activities

    Ask your veterinarian for help with putting on, taking off and safe disposal of PPE. Ensure P2 masks are fitted correctly to reduce your risk of infection.

    The above information has been taken from Department of Primary Industries Website :- http://new.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/animal-diseases/horses/hendra-virus . The links have been added to enable customers to view the products on the BIG Safety website.

  • What is the Hendra Virus?

    Posted on: 19, Jul

    In September 1994, a prominent Queensland horse trainer Mr Vic Rail, his stablehand, and most of his horses fell ill to a sudden and mysterious illness.

    Within several days, the trainer and 14 horses were dead.

    As the Queensland Department of Primary Industries (QDPI) collected specimens from affected race horses and submitted them for testing at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Victoria, newspapers ran with headlines like 'Death virus cancels races, threatens Cup'.

    AAHL's diagnostic team isolated and identified what proved to be a new virus that had not been reported anywhere else in the world.

    Researchers initially named it equine morbillivirus, however, further genetic analysis showed that the most appropriate classification of the virus was as a new genus within the Paramyxoviridae family.

    CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory has been actively involved in each recorded Hendra virus incident since it first emerged in 1994.

    The name Hendra is now used, after the name of the Brisbane suburb in which the outbreak occurred.

    The strength of AAHL's capabilities was clearly demonstrated by the manner in which the infectious agent was isolated, the disease reproduced in horses and the virus eventually identified using electron microscopy and gene sequence analysis.

    With the cause of the disease outbreak known, AAHL researchers developed diagnostic tests.

    QDPI, Queensland Health and AAHL tested more than 2 500 horse samples and 150 human samples, not finding any new cases.

    Further cases (current 2011)

    In the last 17 years, seven people have been confirmed to have been infected with Hendra virus, four of whom have died as a result of the disease.

    In addition to the initial case in 1994, a farmer from Mackay died in 1995 and two Queensland vets passed away in separate incidents in 2008 and 2009.

    There have also been 14 clusters of Hendra virus infection recorded in horses since the virus was first identified.


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