A CLOSE call with the deadly Hendra virus is enough to shake even the most experienced vets.
But Sarina veterinarian Yvonne Clark isn't concerned.
She knows she did everything right when late last month she received a call from a concerned local land owner whose horse had contracted the disease and died.
"This one was quite suspect from the time the owner rang me," Dr Clark said.
"The owner had suspicions as well."
After contacting the department of primary industries, Dr Clark drove to the property to take a blood sample from the dead horse.
"I thought it could have been (Hendra) so I'm always... careful suiting up and wearing everything proper," she said.
It was the first time Dr Clark, who has been a qualified vet for about a year, had encountered a horse with the virus.
Queensland Health records show that of the seven people who have been infected since Hendra virus was first detected, four have died.
The last was in 2009.
After the incident, Dr Clark underwent tests to ensure she hadn't contracted the disease.
While she is yet to receive the results, Dr Clark said she wasn't worried.
"I'm pretty confident that I'm fine," she said.
The time between exposure to a sick horse and the development of symptoms has varied between five and 21 days, according to Queensland Health.
"I was all properly dressed... so I knew I'd done everything right with all the training we get," Dr Clark said.
"It's always in the back of your mind; you're concerned but if you follow protocol, it's a pretty low risk."
Biosecurity Queensland still has the property, which is in the Sarina region, under quarantine.
Hendra virus can cause a wide range of symptoms in horses, and is not always easy to recognise.
Horse owners are encouraged to contact their vet at the first sign something is wrong.
VETERINARIAN Yvonne Clark has urged all horse owners to vaccinate their animals against the deadly Hendra virus.
The vaccine was made available in early November last year.
"It's something we can prevent now," Dr Clark said.
The vaccine costs about $270, but the price can vary depending on where a person lives. It is administered to a horse using two injections three weeks apart. Immunity develops after three weeks.
Beyond vaccination, Dr Clark said there were a few easy steps horse owners could follow to prevent their animals contracting the disease.
She said this involved moving horse feed and water troughs away from trees where bats, which spread the virus, were likely to feed.
Biosecurity Queensland recommends horse owners discuss with their veterinarian whether vaccinating their horses is appropriate.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.