AUTHORITIES have confirmed a Hendra virus case has been detected in a horse near Newcastle.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries said it conducted testing that confirmed the variant strain in an unvaccinated seven-year-old Clydesdale from West Wallsend.
"The detection of the virus was confirmed through testing at NSW Department of Primary Industries' (DPI) Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute laboratory and at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness," the authority said.
"DPI has routinely tested all Hendra submissions over the past 6 months for the variant Hendra strain following a retrospective detection by researchers in a Queensland horse."
A private vet tended to the horse after reports it was showing neurological signs of the virus.
The animal has been euthanised, and no other horses on the same property have shown indications of poor health.
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A Hunter Local Land Services district veterinarian has issued an individual biosecurity direction, controlling the movement of animals and people from that specific property for 21 days.
Public health officers are undertaking risk assessments of people who had contact with the horse.
A 2019 Scone case was the furthest south the virus has crept in NSW, with most recorded on the state's north coast.
Vaccinating horses is the most effective way to halt its spread.
Two horses have died as a result of hendra infecting 23 properties since 2006.
No human deaths have been recorded in NSW.
Symptoms in horses are non-specific in early stages.
DPI recommends isolating horses if owners have concerns they may be infected, and to seek veterinary advice.
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