Australians may find the recent disastrous outbreak of Equine Influenza in the eastern states to be hard to forget. With only a few months to spare, Australia came close to being excluded from the Olympics because of quarantine issues.
The Sydney Morning Herald carries a grim headline this morning: another horse has died in the northern state of Queensland. The cause: the deadly Hendra virus, which can infect both horses and humans.
What sounds particularly grim about the death is that the horse who died was nowhere near the two horses who died previously during this outbreak.
Still, the Australian government is assuring people that there is no cause for alarm. A horse trainer and a vet’s assistant died in a previous outbreak, as well as many horses.
Hendra virus is unknown outside of Australia, and is believed to be spread by fruit bats. It’s interesting to note that it is winter now in Australia, although the Brisbane area is sub-tropical, with a climate similar to Florida’s.