March 11 2021
By Bridget Murphy
Equine vets are urging horse breeders and owners to vaccinate against Hendra virus, following the discovery of a new strain of the deadly virus by Australian researchers.
The research project, titled Horses as Sentinels, has linked the new strain, found in a flying fox in Adelaide, to a previously unexplained death of a horse in an undisclosed area of Australia in 2015.
Peter Reid, a veterinary scientist with the Australian Veterinary Association [AVA], said that breeds of flying foxes that had not been known to transmit Hendra virus in the past could be carrying the new strain in areas previously deemed as low risk.
These areas include parts of New South Wales, Victoria and southern Australia, where grey-headed flying foxes are found.
Hendra virus, which was first recorded in Australia in 1994, can infect both humans and horses...
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