Tue. May 17th, 2022

A warning has been issued after a new variant of the Hendra virus was confirmed in a seven-year-old unvaccinated Clydesdale at West Wallsend, near Newcastle.

A veterinarian visited the property on October 5, after the horse was reported to have severe neurological signs before it collapsed.

Unfortunately, the animal had to be killed.

The vet was wearing PPE at the time and luckily none of the five other horses on the property are showing any symptoms.

Their health is monitored daily, and public health officers from NSW Health conduct risk assessments of all people who have been in contact with the infected horse.

It is furthest south that a positive case has been diagnosed, but the Australian Veterinary Association says it is “not necessarily surprising” because gray-headed flying foxes have been confirmed to host the HeV variant.

It reminds all veterinarians and staff that the signs and symptoms of Hendra can be vague and varying depending on the stage of the disease, so it is important to wear PPE.

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Jacinta Lee is a reporter and producer for NBN News. She previously worked as a reporter and newsreader for radio stations in Newcastle and Canberra, graduating from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Communication in 2017.

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