No evidence of bats where lyssavirus death occurred

A large flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus)
A large flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus). © Wikipedia

The owner of a property where a horse died from the bat-borne lyssavirus says there are no signs of bats on his southern Queensland property.

The death is the first reported case of the virus in a horse.

The yearling was euthanized on Highborne Farm, near Allora. It followed the death of a another horse with similar symptoms a fortnight earlier, but it is not possible to test the remains of that animal for the virus.

Lyssavirus is closely related to the rabies virus and was identified in 2006 in a black flying fox during the search for the virus reponsible for Hendra.

It has since been found in bats and flying foxes in New South Wales the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia.

Farm owner Cameron Osbourne told local media that a search of the property had found no evidence of bats.

He said those who had been exposed to the two horses had opted for a rabies vaccination.

Three known human cases of lyssavirus infection, all in Queensland, have proved fatal.

The most likely route of infection for the horses was through a bite or scratch from a bat, authorities said.


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