Latest HENDRA death

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Sharaway, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Possum disease is a protozoal disease. VERY different micro organism and not something against which you can develop a vaccine (very hard to vaccinate against protozoa)

    Flu viruses are well known for their ability to mutate freely - other viruses not so much. Rabies is a multi species disease but the vacine is very effective and has been for a very long time. Hendra is a paramyxovirus - related to distemper in dogs and measles in people. Both of which are very stable and against which we have had effective vaccines for a long time.

    Um..yes... Cos the healthy ones released will then get the virus from the currently infected ones you haven't trapped yet?? Or do you suggest we can catch EVERY bat in the area at one time and test? Are you going to hold them in a pen while their individual test results come back? Not to mention that you'd have to identify every one individually so you knew which results applied to which bat. Cos there's no pen side test. And then there's the issue of getting people prepared to handle the damn things knowing what they might be carrying...
    Culling also won't work real well as bats are quite migratory - cull out one colony and another will move into the space left behind.

    This dog has sero converted... he no longer appears to carry virus- he is not actively infected. You can learn a LOT from a dead animal - PM, tissue samples, virus isolation... the list goes on.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2011
  2. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    OK. Are we to assume that only domestic horses have ever been infected? What about the wild horse population? Who eats those dead horses do you think? If HENDRA is so rampant in bat populations then one must also assume that its been contracted by animals under the radar?

    I cannot understand the reasoning behind protecting a wild creature that is known to incubate a deadly disease. A disease that is mutating across species.

    If HENDRA is so "hard" to contract - how did the dog get it? Of all the test species DOGS were found to be the lowest animal on the "can you catch it list".

    AnnaE I usually agree with you on all levels.......but if this "very difficult to contract, fragile zoonotic virus" mutates into an airborne carrier.......we are in VERY big trouble. All because some people refuse to trap and kill the host species! Yes it might be very hard to net and test all those bats....the only other alternative is to cull indiscriminately - which I have no problem with at all. Leaving those that are in captivity and are tested healthy to be used as breeding stock to release if it makes people feel better.

    As said by many - I have no problem shooting and burning the buggers.

    HENDRA is an Aussie disease - one that WE can claim all our own. 1994 saw it emerge and then go quiet again. Whatever the reason bats are shedding the virus shouldn't matter. The fact they INCUBATE this very rare and deadly transmissable disease is reason enough to be more proactive - instead of hoping that it just flies away with the foxes and bats. Zoontonic means that it CAN become airborne.....from poop dust and rotted dried flesh ect. What then? Enough isn't known about the HOW & the interim - get rid of the THREAT (the host) and THEN spend time and money working out the how & why!

    Well then this should make it real easy to net and kill them. If they like to jump in other bats nests when they move out it means that trappers don't have to travel far! Identify nests...kill the bats/foxes and then wait for the next lot to arrive.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2011
  3. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    Nope. Zoonotic just means it can be transmitted from animals to people.
  4. Raw Prawn

    Raw Prawn Well-known Member

    And hence why we should leave decisions about how to deal with this virus up to the professionals...:}
  5. Ponies4Me

    Ponies4Me Well-known Member

    Dusty the kelpie has been pts following the second test results coming back positive.

    Lets hope that this family have no more sad news from Hendra.
  6. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    I don't agree with this........there is nothing at all wrong with interested horse owners discussing both their fears of the disease and their fears of being considered mushrooms.

    And THIS is why I said that "if" it became airborne we would be in very serious fact I don't think they even know whether simple airborne contraction has been the CAUSE of the animal to human OR animal to animal cases we have seen so far!!

    Imagine "if" this dreadful disease has a chance to continue mutating and in the process becomes airborne via dust, dried poop or infected water droplets!!?? We saw what happened in those few short weeks of EI and how the disease mutated from go to caught the DPI with their pants down - now we have the same thing but worse and those same people are waiting for a vaccine..........ridiculous.

    A vaccine that is a few years off being released to the public, is, a few too many years to risk the disease mutating to a form that perhaps renders the vaccine less effective?

    Bomb-fires anyone?
  7. Ponies4Me

    Ponies4Me Well-known Member

    QUOTE=EVP;1352265]We saw what happened in those few short weeks of EI and how the disease mutated from go to caught the DPI with their pants down - now we have the same thing but worse and those same people are waiting for a vaccine..........ridiculous.

    Say what? The EI virus did not mutate. A HIGHLY contagious air borne virus spread like wildfire because NO horse here in Aus had ever been exposed to said virus. Of the horses on my street that were vaccinated, NONE went down sick, all non vaccinated horses went down like dominoes, despite everyone's best efforts to keep it away.

    A vaccine that is a few years off being released to the public, is, a few too many years to risk the disease mutating to a form that perhaps renders the vaccine less effective?

    I'd much rather know that the Hendra vaccine is SAFE, as well as EFFECTIVE before its struck in my animals neck! Current time frame is public release 2013, maybe 2012 - lets hope.
  8. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    The strain of EI that Australia "got" was a version of Wisconsin strain....though it showed links to the Florida version. By the time it spread in our naive horse population it most likely would have had mutated changes.....thats why we got a newer type of vaccine and why authorities wanted it in the intenuated form.

    Vaccines can only be effective against the diseases of which it 'tests' effective against.......IF diseases change during transmission then those vaccines become LESS effective at preventing contraction.

    I totally get that people want to trust authorities and hope that all will be well and that we'll be looked after and advised ect.............I just am not one of those people. I know too well how things go when "it" hits the fan. When authorties find the best answer to questions you don't have answers for is "deny, don't say, delude".
  9. Anna E

    Anna E Guest

    EVP this is speculation you have picked out of the air.. I have yet to see ANYTHING from all the hundreds of sit reps, official reports and the ineitable Royal Commission to suggest that the EI virus mutated into some scary never before seen version of itself in Australia..

    Well yeah, but as i ahve tried to point out before, some visur families are well recognised for "antigenic drift" (which isn't quite the same things as mutation ;)) and others aren't. The flu "family" is one which drifts. The virus family from which Hendra comes isn't.
  10. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Can you guarantee that HENDRA can't become 'airborne'......?

    As for "changes or mutations".......tell me why authorities were continually surprised at the length of time shedding was varying?....
    It was commonly thought that the virus could only shed for 14 days - yet we had incidences of it shedding for 35+ days.

    Sounds like "our EI" was surprising alot of people........ahahaha
  11. Raw Prawn

    Raw Prawn Well-known Member

    Nobody has said is cant become airbourne. There is no evidence so far that is has.

    It would be IRRESPONSIBLE of us as the professional animal health community to release a vaccine for a potentially deadly virus without thorough testing having been undertaken to ensure it is safe.

    Whether people like it or not....diseases are part of life. Humans are not the be all end all and just because there is something out there that may kill us doesnt mean you go out and kill all the animals which MAY transmit a virus to a human at some stage.

    Unfortunately vets and scientists, as with other medical professionals, DO NOT understand EVERYTHING about the world around us. There is a huge amount of unknown. That is life. We constantly strive to learn more to prevent things like this happening, but guess what? The biological world is vastly complicated and ever changing.

    All we can do is do our best. This is not some crazy conspiracy theory. The government is not trying to kill all horse owners by unleashing a deadly virus on them through the bats.....

    As Anna E has stated (multiple times...) this type of virus does not readily mutate, but you know what? If it does there is NOTHING we can do to stop it. All we can do is work with the knowledge we have at hand, strive to learn more and go from there.

    Killing bats is not going to control this virus.......nor is it in any way shape or form an ethical means of dealing with the problem. This is not a hippy, greeny view, its a practical, ethically sound, scientific view which is shared by the vast majority of the scientific professional community. Are you suggesting we should ignore the educated opinion of the people who have spent their lives studying viruses, animal migration, disease control and epidemiology, in favour of the relatively uneducated view of the average horse owner? I think not.
  12. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    100% agree
    horses may of got sick from EI, but they died from the DPI protocol :(
  13. Angimac

    Angimac Well-known Member

    I hope the vaccination comes sooner rather than later for the horses in the Queensland/NSW effected areas.

    I read that the government has given funding to research the possible spread of HENDRA by possums and others. Would there be of any benefit to start the testing at soil, food and water sources, mozzies along the migration path of the bats? There seems to be a big jump in the percentage of bats being carriers.

    I am not very acknowledgeable in how viruses work, but could it have something to do with the flooding and heating up in the area.
  14. BigRed

    BigRed Active Member

    I was just talking to my brother who is working in Queensland he told me something very scary. He was talking to a few locals who has just had their horses pts because of hendra and one guy had to have his dog pts as he was positive as well. How many animals can this be passed onto??
  15. Kiwigirl

    Kiwigirl Well-known Member

  16. Ponies4Me

    Ponies4Me Well-known Member

    Another 3 horses in Northern NSW confirmed with Hendra, just when we thought things were easing up #(

    No trees in the paddocks this time either - other cases in the same area had Fig trees in the horse paddocks.
  17. whitepantheress

    whitepantheress Well-known Member

    Scary stuff, it's getting scary close to here...
  18. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    AnnaE I love you (you know that).....but can you tell me why culling bats will not help the spread of HENDRA. Surely as the host species they are the ones responsible for its spread into other species and therefore the buck stops with them?

    Officals have no problem euthanising horses or dogs in the effort to prevent transference yet shitty diseased bats are allowed to continue to migrate spreading their deadly jimmies all over the place.

    A colony was moved in Qld about 2 weeks ago (can't remember the exact date as I was in house moving mode) what does that say. If they can relocate a mob of bats then surely they can cull them. Unless of course someone put up signs for them to follow!

    I don't find anything remotely knee-jerking about killing the buggers. We're not talking a piddly little snot nose virus, we're talking about a horrible cross-species death sentence. I find it totally amazing that people can protest about cattle deaths overseas yet no-one is making a stand about culling the deadly bats and flying foxes! Priorities much?

    Bat poop is strange stuff. Used in high grade fertilizers where possible. In its raw cave form the stuff is almost toxic to humans because of its concentration.
    Why is it so hard to believe that once dry in our weather conditions that diseased poop could become airborne?

    Regardless, public offices have a long history of keeping a lid on things to "protect the public". They like the "wait and see" approach so that people don't panic. They applied the same approach to EI and by the time they decided to make official statements the disease had broken fences and galloped away. Vaccination was the silver bullet.

    Unlike EI HENDRA has an identified host species that incubates the disease and is responsible for spreading it......
    Authorities are asking for a widening of the ban on some dogs the interest of public safety, yet killer bats are allowed to migrate, multiply and morph? Again, priorities much?
  19. Ponies4Me

    Ponies4Me Well-known Member

    This just isn't letting up #(

    Positive case at Currumbin Valley now, on a stud with 22 horses now in quarantine :(
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

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