Hendra Update: State Event at Denman


Posted: Thu, 27th Jun 2019

Further information on Hendra and our State Event at Denman in July

Please see below in Downloads Section for more information on Hendra Virus and our State Event at Denman.


Hendra Case and PCA State Event

As you are aware there has been a Hendra case in the Upper Hunter.
Hendra is a virus that is carried by flying foxes and can infect horses that eat/drink/reside in
paddocks where flying foxes may be feeding or roosting in trees. Humans who have had very
close contact with sick horses without wearing personal protective equipment may become
infected though this requires quite a high level of contact with discharges or blood. There has
never been a case of Hendra from human to bat contact; they have all been from an infected
horse. There has also never been human to human spread of the disease. Some dogs and
cats have developed antibodies after close exposure to a sick horse but there has been no
human disease from contact with these animals.

There is a greater risk to humans from bats or flying foxes of contracting Australian Bat Lyssa
Virus and for this reason it is recommended not to handle live or sick bats or flying foxes.
The nearest Flying fox colony to the Denman event would be either Singleton or Stewarts
Brook, both of which would be greater than 60km away. There is no present evidence of Flying
foxes feeding at the ground at Denman.

Vaccination is the best protection but making sure horses are fed and watered away from trees
that may be used as roosts or for feeding, washing feed and water buckets with detergent
before use and preventing horses from grazing in similar areas are all effective at minimizing
the risk.

Horses should be healthy leading up to an event and the use of a Horse Health Declaration is
an important management tool in this circumstance.
Hendra virus can only survive for a short period of time in the environment and is easily killed by
soap and water or any of the common disinfectants. Therefore all normal personal hygiene
pracitises of hand washing and/or sanitisers should be used frequently.
Under no circumstances should dogs be brought to the event.

Kind regards,
Dr Jane Bennett
District Veterinarian Hunter Local Land Services
2 Flemington Drive, Scone NSW 2337
Ph: 65402419 M: 0427322311 Email:

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