Two Vet Clinic Workers Positive for Hendra Virus

Two of the people exposed to horses infected with Hendra virus at Redlands Veterinary Clinic in the Australian state of Queensland have contracted the zoonotic disease, according to a report published by The Australian.

Three horses at the clinic were found to be infected with the virus earlier this month. Of these, two died and one recovered. The additional 37 horses at the facility have undergone testing for the virus.

"Queensland Health has visited the practice and sampled all persons considered at risk of exposure," Biosecurity Queensland Chief Veterinary Officer Ron Glanville, BSc, BVSc, MVS, said July 9. Decontamination procedures were underway at the clinic at that time.

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According to The Australian's report, both of the infected people are staff members of the clinic and have been hospitalized.

David Lovell, BVSc, MACVSC, QDAH, GCM, principal and founding partner of the clinic, told ABC radio that both were in satisfactory condition.

The virus has only been reported in Australia. Fruit bats indigenous to the continent appear to be its natural host.

Glanville noted that the Redlands cases were unusual, in that the affected horses displayed neurologic signs as their main clinical presentation. These signs included ataxia, head tilt, and facial nerve paralysis, in addition to increased temperatures and purple mucous membranes.

Read more at Hendra Virus: Neurologic Variant Confirmed, Clinic Staff Exposed.  

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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