Forgotten password

Hendra Virus


There are currently no confirmed cases of Hendra virus

For the first time Australia is faced with a deadly horse disease that is unique to our country.  The fact that this disease can be caught by and kill humans as well, just increases the fear and worry that we all feel.  It‘s no good saying that it‘s a rare event, because the devastation that it brings has a huge impact on equine owners, carers and industry. 

Click here for an update on Equivac HeV duration of immunity challenge - released 17 December 2013.

Hendra virus was first isolated in 1994 from an outbreak of disease in a racing stable located in the northern Brisbane suburb of Hendra less than 10km from the city centre. The outbreak resulted in death of a horse trainer and 13 horses and left a stable hand seriously ill. A further seven horses with evidence of exposure to the virus were humanely destroyed to avoid possible further spread of the disease.  Since Hendra virus was first isolated, significant progress has been made in understanding the virus, where it originates in nature, and how to detect infection and past exposure. Hendra virus and its close relation Nipah virus, both belong to a separate category of the Paramyxoviridae family, the Henipaviruses. In addition to a number of unique molecular characteristics, these viruses are distinguished from other members of the family by their ability to infect a broad range of species and fatally infect both animals and humans.  Nipah virus emerged in pigs and humans in Malaysia. Since then, over 470 known human infections and over 240 deaths have been linked to outbreaks of Nipah in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and India.  There have been no reported outbreaks in Australia.  

What to look for!
Common Clinical Signs

  • acute onset of illness 
  • increased body temperature 
  • increased heart rate 
  • discomfort/weight shifting between legs (both fore and hind limbs) 
  • depression 
  • rapid deterioration, usually with respiratory and/or neurological signs.

Scroll down to download Fact Sheets and important information.

View the following six part documentary by released by Health4Horses December 2013 (click on the link below if your browser does not allow you to view all six episodes).

A Safer Tomorrow: Our Stand Against Hendra Virus

Bats and Trees
Hendra – Property Design
Hendra Virus
Hendra virus – Reducing the Risk
Managing Occupational Hendra Virus
Hendra virus horse owner guidelines
Hendra Guidelines for Vets
Hendra Virus disposal
Perspective on Hendra Virus
Hendra Article Peter Reid
Hendra Virus Disposal
EADRA - Hendra Response Policy Brief