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UPDATE: Hendra Virus alert was a "miscommunication"

Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket following rumours of a Hendra Virus infection.
Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket following rumours of a Hendra Virus infection. Jacob Carson

UPDATE 3.10pm: A SPOKESMAN from the Queensland Government has told the Gympie Times they have 'No reason to believe' the horse at Lagoon Pocket has contracted the deadly Hendra Virus. 

"We've heard from the vet, who confirmed to Biosecurity Queensland that he doesn't think it was Hendra." 

The horse is believed to have become stuck in a creek on the property at Lagoon Pocket, where it became increasingly erratic and distressed. 

Fire crews were called to the property to assist in the rescue of the animal, but the decision was made to euthanise the animal as it had become dangerously over-stressed. 

The spokesman for government believes the word "Hendra" may have been used over two-way radio by fire crews, which has potentially led to the scare. 

Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket following rumours of a Hendra Virus infection.
Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket following rumours of a Hendra Virus infection. Jacob Carson

Earlier this afternoon, fire crews could be seen both disinfecting themselves and removing material in sealed biohazard bags. 

As of writing, it's believed the body of the animal is still in the creek at the property. 

While authorities have little reason to believe the horse contracted the virus (crew members are believed to have not even come into contact with the animal), authorities are erring on the side of caution. 

"Of course we're trying to be as safe as possible," the spokesman added, "It's not confirmed of course, but we're treating it seriously - and we'll have test results to confirm our suspicions soon".

Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket following rumours of a Hendra Virus infection.
Crews work to remove biohazard material from the property at Lagoon Pocket following rumours of a Hendra Virus infection. Jacob Carson

EARLIER: A LAGOON Pocket property is currently on lock-down as emergency crews and Queensland Health work to discover if a horse contracted the deadly Hendra Virus.

An alert from the Queensland Rural Fire Brigade was issued just before 10am this morning, and there are currently a number of crews on-site at the property on Kiaka Rd.

 

Scenes from the Lagoon Pocket property where a horse had suspected Hendra contamination.
Scenes from the Lagoon Pocket property where a horse had suspected Hendra contamination. Jacob Carson

According to fire crews on scene, it's believed just one horse on the property raised suspicion, and the animal has subsequently been destroyed.

"QFS are currently awaiting test results from the animal, which has been euthanised," said fire-fighter Jon Webb.

"The testing will take a number of hours, but at this stage we believe it's unlikely the animal has contracted the virus.

"Of course we don't know for sure, which is why we're taking all the steps necessary to keep safe."

At this stage, access to the property itself has been taped off, with a number of crew members inside the property waiting for the test results.

A number of other horses on the property could be seen frolicking in paddocks.

 

Scenes from the Lagoon Pocket property where a horse had suspected Hendra contamination.
Scenes from the Lagoon Pocket property where a horse had suspected Hendra contamination. Jacob Carson

"Again it's just a precaution, once we know the results we'll have more information," Mr Webb added.

"We're estimating it'll be another few hours until we know for sure."

More as this story develops.

Gympie Times

Topics:  biohazard breaking news editors picks hendra outbreak hendra virus kiara rd lagoon pocket


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