New Case of Deadly Hendra Virus in Australia, National Federation Moves to Prevent Infections
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BRISBANE, Australia, June 5, 2014–A new case of the deadly Hendra virus has been reported in Australia and the national federation on Thursday announced steps to guard against infections spreading at horse shows.
Though the virus is rare, the latest case was the second this year.
It was named for the suburb of this sub-tropical city where it was first discovered a decade ago. Since then, the Courier-Mail newspaper reported, Hendra has killed four people in the state of Queensland.
The virus is spread by flying foxes also known as fruit bats to horses and can then be transferred to people. About 75 per cent of horses infected with the virus die.
The latest case occurred south of Brisbane. The infected horse was put down and an owner exposed to the sick horse is being monitored.
Equestrian Australia said that organizers of all its sanctioned shows will be required to complete a questionnaire during the initial planning stages to determine if it needs to be classified as a Hendra Vaccinated Event. Events classified as a Hendra Vaccinated Event will be required to make Hendra vaccination a condition of entry.
Details of the policy and the requirements will be announced July 1.
Responsibility will be on horse owners and riders to comply with the event vaccination requirements.