Deadly Australian horse virus found in dog

A horse is seen quarantined at a property in South Eastern Queensland following an outbreak of the lethal bat-borne Hendra virus. The disease has been detected in a dog for the first time, authorities in Australia said on Tuesday, prompting fears it has jumped species.

A lethal bat-borne horse virus has been detected in a dog for the first time, authorities in Australia said on Tuesday, prompting fears it has jumped species.

"This is the first time outside of a laboratory that an animal other than a or a horse, or a human, has been confirmed with Hendra ," Queensland state Chief Veterinary Officer Rick Symons said.

So far, 14 horses have died or been put down in Australia since June as a result of the , which was only discovered in 1994.

No humans have yet been infected in the current outbreak, which has affected farms in New South Wales and Queensland, but four of the seven people ever to have contracted the disease have died.

Symons said the dog, which tested positive for antibodies for the disease but appeared healthy, was on a property where Hendra had been confirmed and was currently under .

He added that the case raised many questions for and health officials and researchers.

"We don’t know how the dog contracted the virus or when it happened," he said.

"Based on our knowledge to date, it is most likely that the dog caught the virus from an infected horse."

The virus is thought to be spread to horses via half-chewed fruit, or water and food contaminated by bats' droppings.

Malaysia has imposed a ban on the import of horses from Australia as a precautionary measure following the outbreak.

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.

Fresh horse death as Australia virus spreads

Jul 07, 2011

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.

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.

Recommended for you

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

17 hours ago

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

22 hours ago

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

Dec 19, 2014

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

Dec 19, 2014

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.