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Are my pets at risk?

NSW health reports that there is no evidence of dog to human transmission of Hendra virus. According to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Victoria there have been no reports of illness in pets caused by eating deceased flying foxes. However, pets should be kept away from flying foxes if possible to reduce likelihood of scratches or bites. If a pet becomes sick after contact with a flying fox, seek advice from a veterinarian.

Horses may get the Hendra virus infection from eating food recently contaminated by flying-fox urine, saliva or other body fluids. But there is no evidence of human to human, bat to human, bat to dog, or dog to human transmission of Hendra virus. All confirmed human cases to date became infected following high level exposures to body fluids of an infected horse, such as doing autopsies on horses without wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, or being extensively sprayed with mucous from infected horses.

If you have horses, vaccines are the best way to reduce the risk of infection and are available from your vet.

You can get more information on managing horse health risks from the Hendra virus on the Department of Primary Industries website.


This page was last updated on: 13 September 2019