$600,000 Pledged to Equine Hendra Virus Vaccine Research

The state government of Queensland, Australia, along with the Australian federal government, has pledged $600,000 of funding towards research on a Hendra virus vaccine for horses, according to the Brisbane Times.

The Australian news source notes that the virus has killed more than 40 horses and four humans in Queensland to date. The current funding announcement follows on the heels of an affected horse being put down in Tewantin last week.

Hendra virus is a zoonotic disease that people can catch from their horses, although infection is relatively rare. Fatality rates in humans run higher than 50%. Clinical signs in horses can include include respiratory distress, frothy nasal discharge, elevated heart rate, and increased body temperature, and some horses display neurologic signs such as head-pressing or twitching, while others might appear to be colicky.

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