Horse virus hits Australia's tourist north

July 12, 2011
The biggest ever outbreak of Australia's deadly Hendra virus has spread to near the tourist city of Cairns, claiming the life of an eighth horse, officials said Tuesday.

The biggest ever outbreak of Australia's deadly Hendra virus has spread to near the tourist city of Cairns, claiming the life of an eighth horse, officials said Tuesday.

The animal died on a farm west of Cairns -- the hub for the -- after showing signs of Hendra, which can cause respiratory illness in humans and has killed four of the seven people it has infected since 1994.

The horse died on Monday, said Jim Thompson, Queensland state's chief biosecurity officer.

It is the sixth Hendra case on Australia's populous east coast since June 20, and the furthest north the virus, which is spread by the fruit bat or , has been seen during the current outbreak.

Jeannette Young, the state's chief health officer, said it was uncertain how many people had been exposed in the latest case.

At least 32 people have already been exposed to the rare virus in the current , with one case just 500 kilometres (300 miles) from Sydney, the furthest south the virus has ever been found.

Officials at Randwick, Sydney's best known racecourse, have warned trainers to be alert for symptoms of the virus, which is spread from infected bats via half-chewed fruit or water and food contaminated by their urine and droppings.

Named after the Brisbane suburb in which is was first detected in 1994, Hendra is thought to be unique to Australia.

Explore further: Fresh horse death as Australia virus spreads

Related Stories

Fresh horse death as Australia virus spreads

July 7, 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.

Recommended for you

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...


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.