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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

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

2008 Australian Hendra virus recap

Posted in Horses

The latest edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases contains a paper describing the 2008  Australian Hendra virus outbreak in horses and people. In this outbreak, there were five horses infected and two humans infected. The horses predominantly had signs of neurological disease, not respiratory disease like some other reports describing this disease. Four horses… Continue Reading

Who should pay for Hendra virus research?

Posted in Horses

A proposed levy on horse owners to fund Hendra virus research has been met with opposition in Queensland. It has been suggested that a $25/horse levy in Queensland would provide needed funding for research into this rare but deadly disease, but this has been opposed by some vets and horse owners. One comment in response… Continue Reading

Hendra virus vaccine: For horses or people?

Posted in Horses, Vaccination

In the wake of the death of Dr. Alister Rodgers from Hendra virus, there have been increasing calls for the Australian government to put significant resources into Hendra virus research. Various areas need to be investigated, including how this virus is maintained in the bat population, how it is transmitted from bats to horses, ways… Continue Reading

Hendra virus claims life of veterinarian

Posted in Horses

Unfortunately, Dr. Alister Rodgers, who had been hospitalized with Hendra virus infection acquired from a sick horse, died yesterday in a hospital in Brisbane, Australia. He was infected last month while treating an infected horse on a farm that was subsequently identified as having multiple horses infected with the virus. Despite experimental ribavirin treatment, he… Continue Reading

Veterinarian diagnosed with Hendra virus infection

Posted in Horses

A veterinarian, one of four people in Australia that were under close observation due to exposure to a horse with Hendra virus infection, has developed signs of infection.  Dr. Alister Rodgers is now in hospital in critical condition. He had close contact with a sick infected horse three weeks ago – Hendra virus was not… Continue Reading

It’s back: Hendra virus in Australia

Posted in Horses

Hendra virus, a virus that can kill horses and people, has resurfaced in Queensland, Australia. This bat-borne disease has caused periodic fatalities in horses and people that work with horses. The latest outbreak is thought to have killed up to three horses and resulted in the potential exposure of at least 30 people. The likelihood of… Continue Reading

Deadly Hendra virus resurfaces in Australia

Posted in Horses, Other diseases

A small outbreak of the potentially deadly Hendra virus was identified in a group of horses near Brisbane, Australia. This virus has caused periodic cases of illness and death in horses, and can be transmitted to people working closely with infected horses. In the latest outbreak, 3 horses have died, making this the worst outbreak… Continue Reading