Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: australia

Bandicoots, Sandboxes and Salmonella

Posted in Other animals, Salmonella
A playground in New South Wales, Australia, has been closed because its sandpit was linked to salmonellosis in two children. Sandboxes are a potential source of a few different infectious diseases since they can be used as litterboxes by animals such as cats, raccoons, and apparently, bandicoots. In the Australian incident, two kids were diagnosed… Continue Reading

Brucellosis from Aussie pigs

Posted in Other animals
Australian Elmer Fudds beware… there are concerns that feral pig hunting is a risk factor for brucellosis in New South Wales. Brucellosis is a rare disease, but a report like this raises concern because it can be nasty, and it can also be hard to diagnose (or it’s not considered right away). We don’t have… Continue Reading

Another Australian bat virus in horses

Posted in Horses
As if horse owners and veterinarians in Queensland need another infectious disease challenge….. Recently, a horse in southwest Queensland was diagnosed with Australian bat lyssavirus infection. This virus, which is similar to rabies, is present in some bats in Australia. It can be transmitted to people from bats, causing fatal disease, but human infections are… Continue Reading

Hendra vaccination now a reality

Posted in Horses
In a rather impressive effort – considering the issues inherent with working with a virus like Hendra virus, the nature of the disease and the low economic value of a vaccine that would only be used in a very restricted geographic area – a Hendra virus vaccine has been released for horses. Equivac HeV should… Continue Reading

More Queensland Hendra virus cases

Posted in Horses
While I guess it’s getting beyond the point where Hendra virus infections in horses in Queensland, Australia are considered "news," it’s still a highly concerning situation. Infections caused by this fruit bat-associated virus continue to occur in the region and there’s no sign that this problem is going to go away any time soon. In… Continue Reading

Bat slaughter = Hendra virus control?

Posted in equIDblog
Bob Katter, an Australian Member of Parliament and leader of the Australian Party, has proposed culling flying foxes (fruit bats) as a way to control Hendra virus, which is spread by these large Australian bats. He’s not the first person to make such a proposal, but it’s a knee-jerk reaction that in reality doesn’t make… Continue Reading

Bad 2012 for Hendra virus in Australia

Posted in Horses
While you don’t want to read too much into a single case, 2012 has started off in a bad way for Queensland horses. Hendra virus was identified in a Townsville area horses that died.  This zoonotic viral disease is  largely restricted to Queensland, Australia, but it has a high fatality rate in horses (and people). Hendra… Continue Reading

No Answer In Aussie Horse Deaths

Posted in equIDblog
Despite relatively intensive efforts, no cause has been identified for the deaths of 22 horses ona Kooralbyn farm in Queensland, Australia. Readily identifiable causes have been ruled out, leaving two main theories: As mentioned in an earlier post, one possibility is botulism It can be very hard to diagnose botulism in horses, and the disease… Continue Reading

Botulism Suspected In Aussie Outbreak

Posted in equIDblog
A couple of days ago, I reported about a deadly outbreak on a Queensland farm that had killed a significant number of horses. A definitive diagnosis has still not been made, but it is starting to look like botulism might be the cause. In my previous assessment, I said botulism was a potential cause of an outbreak… Continue Reading

Queensland Horse Deaths Being Investigated

Posted in equIDblog
There’s still no confirmed cause of death for 19 horses that died within a short period of time on a Kooralbyn, Queensland (Australia) farm. Sudden death and Queensland invariably conjures up thoughts of Hendra virus, considering the large number of Hendra cases that have occurred in the area this year, but that particular disease has… Continue Reading

Who’s Better At Biosecurity?

Posted in equIDblog
There are a lot of recommendations out there for establishing or improving sound infection control practices on horse farms, many of which can be found on this very blog.  Some refer to such practices as "biosecurity," but what’s done on horse farms compared to the often very strict biosecurity protocols at facilities such as swine… Continue Reading

Economic Impact Of Aussie Horse Flu

Posted in equIDblog
A huge equine influenza virus outbreak occurred in Australia in 2007 – a classic example of what can happen when a virus gets into an area where it’s never been before. There were huge numbers of affected horses and a massive disruption to the industry due to quarantines and other control measures. A special edition… Continue Reading

MRSA In Aussie Horses

Posted in equIDblog
In the early 2000s, we took a lot of bad publicity in Ontario (particularly at the Ontario Veterinary College) because of MRSA in horses. While MRSA had been found in horses before and there were anecdotal reports of MRSA infections and outbreaks in different areas, the fact that we intensively investigated the issue and published a lot… Continue Reading

Hendra-exposed dog euthanized

Posted in Dogs
Dusty, the dog who tested positive for Hendra virus exposure on a Queensland farm, has been euthanized. The owners confirmed through their Member of Parliament that their pet had been euthanized voluntarily, rather than waiting for Biosecurity Queensland to compel them to do so. Based on publicly available information, this seems like an illogical and… Continue Reading

More on dogs and Hendra virus

Posted in Dogs
Neil Fearon and his family have lost three horses to Hendra virus, and are concerned about one other. They are now dealing with the implications of their dog, a Kelpie named Dusty, having tested positive for Hendra virus antibodies in its blood. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the presence of antibodies in the blood of… Continue Reading

Hendra virus in a dog

Posted in Dogs
Adding a new twist to the already very concerning situation in Australia, Hendra virus infection has now also been identified in a dog. It’s been a bad year for Hendra virus in Australia, with larger numbers of cases of this highly fatal disease in horses in a geographic range that seems to be expanding. Spread… Continue Reading

Bat cull for Hendra virus prevention?

Posted in Horses
As Australia faces a particularly bad year for Hendra virus, with possible expansion of the range of this serious disease, there have been calls for a mass cull of flying foxes (fruit bats).  These bats are the reservoir of the virus but also a protected species. The virus lives in the bats and is spread… Continue Reading