11/1/2012

Seven years of research by a multidisciplinary team of scientists has resulted in a Hendra virus vaccine for horses. In Australia, Hendra has killed 81 horses. Four of the seven people who contracted the disease from horses died as a result of their infection. "The vaccine will also help to protect the health of horses and is a major win for anyone working in the equine industry, including veterinarians," said veterinarian Ben Gardiner, president of the Australian Veterinary Association. Veterinarian Deborah Middleton agreed. "I have seen first-hand how Hendra has created difficult working conditions for my colleagues and any Australian who works with horses," Dr. Middleton said. "A horse vaccine is crucial to breaking the cycle of Hendra virus transmission from flying foxes to horses and then to people, as it can prevent both the horse developing the disease and passing it on." The disease has only been documented in Australia, according to Iowa State University.

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