NSW virus prompts tighter quarantine rules


State authorities are tightening quarantine measures following a study on the first Hendra virus (HeV) outbreak on the NSW mid-north coast.

A pet dog was found to be infected with the virus during an outbreak in July 2013, which affected four unvaccinated horses on four separate properties.

Lead author of the case study Dr Sherly Halim said gaps in existing risk assessment have prompted NSW Health and Department of Primary Industries to adapt more specific protocols to reduce human exposure to the virus.

"The incident in NSW highlighted two things - that pets on Hendra-affected properties are a potential infection risk to humans and that there were possible gaps in our existing HeV risk assessment and risk management procedures," Dr Halim said in a statement on Wednesday.

She said confining pets to a secure area and limiting contact would help manage HeV outbreaks.

The virus is thought to be transmitted by infected fruit bats through pasture or food contamination with bodily fluids.