Site Published:  16th April 2010
Last updated:   18th April 2010
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The last FOUR 'recorded' outbreaks

Bowen (2009)
Cawarral (2009)
Redlands (2008)
Proserpine (2008)
Did not involve bats roosting on the property where the outbreak occurred
Involved multiple horses
Hendra was not considered as a possible diagnosis until further horses had been infected and resulted in humans becoming infected
Two of the 4 outbreaks claimed the lives of veterinarians
In the last 4 years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, there have been two 'recorded' outbreaks each year.  Accounting for 8 of the 'recorded' 13 outbreaks, involving 22 of the 47 'recorded' horses.

Increased occurrence?  or increased awareness to the virus??  I believe it is the later and continuing to raise awareness, with facts and not the spin may hopefully reduce the chances of further human lives being lost.
Kandice & Casemma

Kandice & Casemma

One of the 4 recommendations from the Peachester Review in 2006, recommended 'rapid investigation' at the colony location thought involved.

On the 7th July 2008, the QDPI were called to Redlands Veterinary Hospital, over concerns of a disease outbreak.  News of the outbreak was released the following  day as a confirmed Hendra virus outbreak.  The public were told of only 3 horses that had died despite the fact the authorities had been advised of several more deaths at the clinic that were potentially involved.  The earliest death going back 30 days on the 7th June.  The owner of this mare Casemma, was contacted within 24 hours, she advised the authorities that there was a large bat colony along the back fence line.  Qld Health contacted the owner daily, giving a clear indication of the level of concern that this is where the virus had come from, yet not one person from the DPI set foot on the property to investigate the bat colony!

During the course of the 'Independent Review' (2008) conducted by Nigel Perkin, an Epidemiologist, still no visit to this property.

In a meeting between a number of stakeholders and the top officials of the QDPI on the 15th January 2009, we highlighted these concerns (among many others).  Shortly after that meeting officials met with the owner on the property to inspect the colony and advised they would arrange testing at the location.

At a follow up meeting between the same stakeholders and officials on the 11th February 2009, we were advised that scientists had been out and collected samples from the colony location.

After several requests by myself to find out the results of this testing, I was advised by the Managing Director, Kareena Arthy if I wanted this information to lodge an RTI application!
Photo Gallery of the Cedar Grove / Jimboomba topography.  The bat colony camps in the dense trees in a reserve which runs along the back of all these small acreage blocks (which all contain horses!)
In an exchange of further correspondence with the Director General over various issues, I was advised
Email from Managing Director Kareena Arthy dated 21 Oct 2009
Letter from Director General Mr Rober Setter dated 7th December 2009
I had already lodged an application under Right to Information for various pathology reports, including ALL pathology reports on testing at this colony location between January and November 2009.  The year AFTER the Redlands outbreak.  This process took the best part of 5 months to obtain the documents, and NO pathology reports were forthcoming of any testing related to THIS colony in either January or February 2009, despite us being told they were negative!

A summary of the results of this surveillance testing of 'apparently healthy flying fox colony' at Cedar Grove is below.  Samples collected between the 5th August and 26th October 2009 yielded positive results on 5 separate dates over the 3 months!!
Click on image to open pathology reports supplied under RTI Application
Sample Date Samples collected Sample type Results
5th August 2009 30 Urine 2 Positives
5th August 2009 3 Creek water No results provided
28th September 2009 36 Urine 12 Positives
5th October 2009 45 Urine 2 Positives
9th October 2009 17 Urine 2 Positives
26th October 2009 32 Urine 4 Positives
The reports do not specify how the samples were collected, to the best of my knowledge this is done by laying out drop sheets on stands to catch an accumulation of excrement from the colony, and then samples extracted and submitted for testing.   As seen on the Catalyst program.
sample collecting 3
sample collecting
sample collecting 2
Note the personal protective gear these guys don just to go into these locations and lay out collection sheets, yet we the public are told to enjoy having these critters living in our backyard and that they pose no health risks!

Also bear in mind that the Director General advised me that the owner of the first horse to die at Redlands was advised of the results of this testing (this was done verbally over the phone).  He further advised me....
Letter from Director General Mr Rober Setter dated 7th December 2009
The only way I could see it would be misleading for the authorities to inform the public of research findings, would be without clarifying that limited surveillance has been done on a limited number of locations. 

Given the facts outlined on the 'History Repeats' I would say the results outlined above are not insignificant, but down right alarming that this colony location was excreting Hendra Virus for a period spanning at least 3 months!
Be ALERT to the dangers of this deadly virus, be ALARMED at what the Government would prefer you didn't know!!



 
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