Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hendra Virus Continues Taking Toll on Australian Horses

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
July 08 2011, Article # 18499

Australian animal health officials confirmed Thursday (July 7) that seven horses have now died or been euthanized as a result of contracting hendra virus, according to a report from World News Australia. The most recent confirmed case was located in New South Wales--the second case in that state this year and the furthest south the virus has ever been found.

The report indicates that the horse died Sunday (July 3) and laboratory tests confirming the presence of hendra virus in her body were returned yesterday. The farm the horse resided at has been quarantined, and three additional horses living on the property are under observation but aren't currently displaying any signs of illness.

The report also noted that:

* The seven hendra-affected horses were located in Queensland (five cases) and New South Wales (two cases) exclusively; and
* Six people in close contact with the latest fatality bring the total number of exposed humans to 15 in New South Wales and 17 in Queensland. These individuals will undergo "three rounds of tests over several weeks" before they are cleared of being infected with the virus.

The zoonotic virus can be deadly to humans if contracted and has been blamed for four human deaths since its discovery in the mid-1990s...

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