Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tests for dozens as Hendra cases climb

THERE appear to be two more Hendra outbreaks in Queensland, including one near Brisbane's horse racing precinct.

Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed a horse at Hervey Bay, about 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, tested positive for the virus.

A horse at a Boondall hobby farm in northern Brisbane is also believed to have contracted the virus, which has influenza-like symptoms that can lead rapidly to death.
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The property, not far from the city's Doomben and Ascot racing tracks, has been placed in quarantine.

The horse was put down on Friday and tested positive.

Biosecurity Queensland's chief vet, Rick Symons, said yesterday a second test would be needed to confirm the case.

''It is likely that it does have the Hendra virus,'' he said.

''But results are not always certain, so there'll be a second test,'' he said.

The Hervey Bay property was quarantined after a horse was put down on Thursday and test results yesterday confirmed it had the virus.

A second horse at the property was being tested to ascertain if it, too, had the virus. (more)