October 2011 - News
Site Published:  16th April 2010
Last updated:   18th April 2010
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Page added:   18th April 2010
Updated:   4th November 2011
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The 18th separate outbreak this year detected at Beachmere north of Brisbane

Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Rick Symons said the horse had become sick over the weekend and was treated by a private veterinarian.

“Samples were taken for Hendra virus testing and the positive result came back late last night,” Dr Symons said.

Another horse was euthanased at this property over a week ago. Biosecurity Queensland is seeking samples from that horse as well to test for Hendra virus. There are two remaining horses on the property.

Biosecurity Queensland is in the process of quarantining the property and will assess and monitor the other horses at this location over the next month.”

Hendra horse owners speak out
11 October, 2011 11:08AM AEDT

After 21 cases of hendra, very few affected horse owners have spoken out about their experience.
Barb and John Michell's horses were the first in NSW to contract hendra during the 2011 outbreak.
The couple, who live at Mcleans Ridges on the state's north coast, agreed to speak for the first time at a special ABC broadcast about the disease.      Read more>    Listen to Interview>

$2 million grants program for Hendra Virus Research.

"Scientists, academics and universities within Australia and overseas are invited to apply for funding from the $2 million Hendra Virus Open Funding Program."

The research projects should align to one of three priorities:

1. Prediction of high risk periods for Hendra Virus transmission from flying foxes to horses
2. Strategies to prevent transmission of Hendra Virus
3. Detection and response to incidents

Details of how to apply for the research grants can be found at www.rirdc.gov.au and applications close on 31 October 2011.
Update - 11th October 2011
Human antibody fends off Hendra virus - US study
From: AFP October 20, 2011 8:10AM

The Hendra virus has killed more than 20 horses in New South Wales and Queensland this year, but no humans.
However four of the seven people ever to have contracted the disease have died.

The research, described in the journal Science Translational Medicine, was done at a highly protected lab in Montana, where 14 African green monkeys were injected with Hendra virus.

Twelve of the monkeys were then treated with a human antibody called m102.4 and all survived, while the untreated pair died.    Read more>
Update - 20th October 2011
Update - 15th October 2011
Second Hendra virus case confirmed at Beachmere property

A second horse has been euthanased at a Beachmere property after returning a positive test result for Hendra virus infection. Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Rick Symons said this was one of the two remaining horses at the Beachmere property where a horse was euthanased last Tuesday.  “Samples were taken for Hendra virus testing from the two horses remaining on the property and we received a positive result for one of these horses,” Dr Symons said.

“Three horses have now died at this property in the past fortnight. One was euthanased almost two weeks ago after becoming seriously ill and being diagnosed as suffering from colic. No samples from that horse are available for testing and we will not be able to confirm if that horse was actually infected by Hendra virus.”  Dr Symons said the property would remain under quarantine until at least late November.  This Hendra virus incident is the tenth in Queensland this year and this latest case is the thirteenth horse to be infected with the virus.

It is not stated in the CVO's media release if this third horse to die on the property actually developed symptoms, or whether it had tested positive to anti-bodies. 
Additional test results have been received for the horse confirmed positive for Hendra virus on Friday 14 October 2011.   This was the second horse confirmed with Hendra virus on a Beachmere property and was
the third horse to be euthanased at the property this month.

Samples were collected from the horse on 11 October 2011
PCR (antigen)   
· Blood – positive   · Rectal swab – positive   · Nasal and oral swab – negative
Virus Neutralisation Test (antibody)  
· Positive

The VNT remains the gold standard for detection of an antibody response to Hendra virus infection.  VNT results on samples collected from the horse on 11 and 14 October 2011 were both positive and demonstrated a rising titre. 

No clinical signs were reported for the horse prior to and subsequent to sampling on both dates.  
The positive PCR results on rectal swab and blood on the first round of testing shows this horse was shedding viral material while building antibodies.
Update - 27th October 2011