Australian stud farms quarantined after horse dies of Hendra virus

  • Stud farms in Australia are under quarantine after a horse died from hendra virus last week.

    A filly called Princess died at a stud in Cawarral, near Rockhampton in Queensland, on Saturday (8 August).

    The stud is likely to be under quarantine for 28 days.

    On Monday (10 August) Queensland Health confirmed that the mare died from hendra virus.

    The horse showed signs of the virus on Thursday and was gravely ill on Friday. She then died the next day.

    Signs of hendra virus in horses may include frothy nasal discharge, a temperature higher than 40°C, and neurological changes including abnormal muscle twitching, weakness and loss of balance.

    The disease can spread from horses to humans, but so far there have been no signs of human-human transmission.

    The property has since been isolated and people working at the stud are under observation.

    Last year Ben Cunneen, a vet from Brisbane, died of the virus. He was the first human to die of hendra in 10 years.

    Stud manager Deb Brown told local press: “The horse was frothing at the nose and the mouth. She was totally incoherent and she died pretty violently.”

    Primary industries minister Tim Mulherin said bats may be to blame for spreading the virus.

    Biosecurity Queensland is testing 30 horses on the property, which is expected to be quarantine for 28 days. Horse owners have been warned to contact their vet if their horses showed signs.

    A number of other properties in Queensland have been quarantined since the horse’s death.

    And a horse stud at Manilla, in Northern New South Wales was quaraentine this week over concerns that a horse there had been in contact with infected Queensland horses.

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