Fresh horse death as Australia virus spreads

Jul 07, 2011
Photo illustration. Another six people have been tested for the deadly Hendra virus after it claimed the life of a seventh horse, officials said Thursday, as the killer outbreak spread south.

Another six people have been tested for the deadly Hendra virus after it claimed the life of a seventh horse, officials said Thursday, as the killer outbreak spread south.

At least 32 people have now been exposed to Hendra, a rare virus spread from which can cause fatal respiratory illness in humans, after a second case was confirmed in populous New South Wales state.

"In NSW we now have single horse deaths to on two properties ... and 15 people who have been in contact with the affected horses," said the state's chief veterinarian, Ian Roth.

The latest , at Macksville, about 500 kilometres (310 miles) from Sydney, is the furthest south it has ever been detected, and only the third time Hendra has been seen in NSW.

One horse died and another three were being monitored, Roth said, adding that it was not believed to be linked to any of the other cases.

There have been three other outbreaks in neighbouring Queensland state since June, exposing 17 people to sick animals.

A total of 32 people are now being tested for the virus, which has killed four of the seven people who contracted it in 18 outbreaks since it was first documented in 1994.

Named after the Brisbane suburb in which is was first detected and thought to be unique to Australia, Hendra is believed to be carried by (flying foxes) and spread via their urine and droppings.

The bats, which have no symptoms of disease, then pass the infection to horses, possibly via half-chewed fruit or other water or food they contaminate, and these animals then transmit it to humans.

stressed that high levels of exposure were required for a human to contract Hendra from a horse and there had been no evidence of bat-to-human or human-to-human infection.

Explore further: Pigeons and people play the odds when rewards are higher

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Killer horse virus spreads in Australia

Jul 02, 2011

Australian officials were on Saturday working to isolate potential victims after uncovering two more cases of the deadly horse-borne Hendra virus, which has erupted in a second state.

Concern mounts over deadly Australian horse virus

Jul 06, 2011

Concern over the killer Hendra virus mounted in Australia Wednesday after a sixth horse died in an outbreak, and 26 people underwent tests after coming into contact with sick animals.

Australia uses experimental drug to halt virus spread

Jun 01, 2010

An experimental drug so far only tested on animals has been given to an Australian woman and child in an effort to prevent an outbreak of a potentially deadly virus, health officials said Tuesday.

Minimising the spread of deadly Hendra virus

Mar 31, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- CSIRO Livestock Industries' scientists working at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), in Geelong Victoria, have made a major breakthrough in better understanding how Hendra spreads ...

Recommended for you

Secret wing colours attract female fruit flies

23 hours ago

Bright colours appear on a fruit fly's transparent wings against a dark background as a result of light refraction. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have now demonstrated that females choose a mate ...

Pigeons and people play the odds when rewards are higher

Oct 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —If you were weighing the risks, would you choose to receive a guaranteed $100, or take a 50/50 chance of winning either $200 or nothing? Researchers at the University of Alberta have shown that ...

User comments : 0