Hendra Virus in Queensland and New South Wales

Jul 1, 2011 | Amy L. Sonricker Hansen | Outbreak News

Eight people have potentially been exposed to the deadly Hendra virus outside of Brisbane, Australia after a horse that died was confirmed to be positive for the disease. It’s believed that horses become infected after eating food contaminated by flying fox (bats of the genus Pteropus found in Australia) urine, saliva, or birth fluids. Humans can acquire the disease after having contact with respiratory secretions or blood from infected horses. Of 7 people ever diagnosed with Hendra virus only 3 have survived. In response to the confirmed Hendra horse death, the area’s mayor has issued that flying fox bats in the area of Kerry and Beaudesert, Queensland be culled despite their protected status. It was also discovered today that a 2nd horse was infected with the Hendra virus in Wollongbar, New South Wales, and has since been euthanized. The case is unrelated to the horse that died in Queensland earlier this week on June 28th.

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