Virus warning after Hendra kills horse in north Qld

LOCAL horse owners are being urged to be vigilant after the Hendra virus was confirmed in Queensland's north.

A horse was found to have the virus after it died at an Atherton Tablelands property this week.

The virus can be fatal to humans.

Queensland chief vet Dr Allison Crook said the property was in quarantine and other horses in the area would be monitored.

Dr Crook said biosecurity staff were working to confirm whether the infected animal had contact with other horses outside of the property.

It was the first case detected in the state this year.

"Testing has confirmed the horse had the virus," Dr Crook said.

"While the property is under quarantine, there are restrictions on the movement of horses and materials on and off the property," she said.

Dr Crook said the region's horse owners should take every step to protect their animals because Hendra could strike at any time

"Vaccination is the best defence against Hendra virus infection and horse owners should discuss their options with their veterinarian," she said.

"If a horse becomes sick, owners should contact their veterinarian immediately.

"People in contact with horses need to remember to continue to practice good biosecurity and personal hygiene measures even if a horse is vaccinated against Hendra virus."