Zoonotic Diseases

Diseases discussed here have a history of use as an agent for biological warfare, either in the U.S. or abroad. Its use may have been experimental or actual, and any detrimental consequences upon humans, animals or the environment may have been intentional or not, depending on the circumstances, the point in time, and the nature of the disease.

Saturday, July 16, 2011



A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the

International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 14 Jul 2011

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald [edited]

Bat colonies should be moved from urban centres and farms, but not

killed, to prevent further outbreaks of the Hendra virus, a north

Queensland MP says. Veterinarians and horse breeders in far north

Queensland are concerned the region's large flying fox population

could result in a spread of the deadly virus, following an outbreak at

a property west of Cairns this week [11-14 Jul 2011]. A pony named

Cheeky died from the virus at the Blazing Saddles trail-riding

property near Kuranda earlier this week. So far, 9 horses have been

killed or put down since 20 Jun [2011] as a result of the virus

following outbreaks in Queensland and New South Wales (NSW).

Independent MP Bob Katter on Wednesday [13 Jul 2011] called for bats

who nested in urban areas to be shot or moved on to prevent further

outbreaks, a position rejected by Biosecurity Queensland.

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch labelled calls to shoot the bats a

"knee-jerk reaction" but said authorities should use non-lethal means

to force bats to relocate from farms and urban areas. "The bats play a

very important role in our ecology, if we exterminated them

pollination in our native forests would just crash. "But we need to be

looking at ways of managing this." He said authorities could use

noise, such as the sound of gunshots, to disrupt bat colonies as they

slept during the day. "There are non-lethal ways that bats can be

encouraged to leave the area and go back to live in forests where they

belong," he said. However, he said the population of bats had grown

dramatically in north Queensland due to the availability of food

sources such as commercial crops and authorities should consider

efforts to reduce numbers through management programs.

Meanwhile, Blazing Saddles owner Michael Trout has said all staff

working at the property would be tested for the virus as a precaution.

"Just for absolute safety's sake, all staff will be tested at one

o'clock today and their results will be back tomorrow so there is 100

per cent clarity there," he told ABC Radio in Cairns. 4 staff and 2

visitors who had contact with Cheeky as well as all 36 horses

remaining on the property have already been tested.


Communicated by:


[Biosecurity Queensland

and the

NSW government

listed a number of precautions to avoid exposure of horses and people

to Hendra virus. Neither source mentions elimination or moving the

bats (see ProMED-mail archive no. 20110713.2110). Dispersal brings

with it the risk of spreading the virus to other locations.

These bats are highly mobile, and there is no assurance that they

will not return to their location of capture on release, since there

are food sources and good roosting places there. Or other flying foxes

may move into the vacated habitats. The logistics and cost of attempts

to eliminate the bat populations or move them to other locations would

be considerable and most likely unsuccessful.

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map showing the location of

Queensland can be accessed at

. - Mod. TY

A map showing the locations of the outbreaks can be seen at

. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[see also:

Hendra virus, equine - Australia (12): (QL,NS) 20110715.2137

Hendra virus, equine - Australia (11): (QL,NS) human exposure


Hendra virus, equine - Australia (10): (QL,NS) human exposure


Hendra virus, equine - Australia (09): (QL,NS) human exposure


Hendra virus, equine - Australia (08): (QL,NS) 20110710.2084

Hendra virus, equine - Australia (07): (QL,NS) 20110706.2045

Hendra virus, equine - Australia (06): (QL,NS) human exposure


Hendra virus, equine - Australia (05): (NSW) human exposure


Hendra virus, equine - Australia (04): (QL) 20110701.1997

Hendra virus, equine - Australia (03): (QL) human exposure


Hendra virus, equine - Australia (02): (QL) 20110629.1984

Hendra virus, equine - Australia: vaccine 20110525.1589]




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