Strategic use of the VetTrue System – Health & Safety – Hendra Virus

By Dr. Michael Hurley | Posted on June 3, 2021

There are times when equine diseases are so hazardous to humans that it’s not safe to be near the horse. Hendra virus infection is one such disease. In Queensland and NSW over 80 cases of Hendra virus have been reported in horses since 1994 and the disease has claimed several lives.
The virus is spread to horses from fruit bats and can cause a wide variety of clinical signs. These may include sudden death or a rapid onset of illness, fever, increased heart rate, respiratory signs and neurological signs. Veterinarians investigating potential Hendra virus cases must use full PPE when examining horses and taking samples for diagnosis. Until Hendra virus infection has been excluded, all contact with the sick horse, even to administer treatment, must be in full PPE for health and safety reasons. The period between sample collection and confirmation or exclusion of a Hendra virus diagnosis can be a worrying time as the disease is often fatal for both horse and human.
The VetTrue System™ from Epona Biotec is a useful tool in such situations. Equine veterinarians can attach a TailTab during the initial examination while in full PPE. The horse can then be monitored remotely until laboratory results are returned. As a fever is present in nearly every case of Hendra virus infection, having this information available can assist in aiding a diagnosis. Health and safety protocols are maintained by monitoring the horse remotely. Contact Epona Biotec now for further information on the VetTrue™ System.

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