Eight Australians exposed to Hendra virus

16:46, June 30, 2011      

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The latest outbreak of Hendra virus has eight people waiting for test results after they were exposed to a Hendra-infected horse that died in southeast Queensland, local media reported on Thursday.

A vet is among the eight who came into contact with the infected horse that died on Sunday, according to Australian Associated Press (AAP).

Acting chief health officer Dr Aaron Groves said all involved were believed to have had a low to moderate level of exposure.

He said none were showing any active signs of the virus so far.

They are undergoing blood tests and will have a second test within 21 days and a third six weeks later to ensure they have not contracted the virus.

Biosecurity Queensland has quarantined two properties to determine the horse's movements and what other horses it had contact with.

The horse fell ill while at a property at Kerry, near Beaudesert, south of Brisbane, on Saturday and died the following day, about 30km south at Biddaddaba in southeast Queensland, after the female owner took it home. The virus was first found in September 1994 at a property in the Brisbane suburb of Hendra. Since then, four of the seven people infected with the virus have died.

Source: Xinhua
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