Queensland Health is testing nine people who came in contact with a horse killed by Hendra virus earlier this week.

The horse was put down and buried on its Tewantin property. It’s the 41st horse to die from the Hendra virus since 1994.

Kendall Gilding reports.

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Biosecurity Queensland received results yesterday confirming a positive case of Hendra Virus at the Tewantin property.

There are serious concerns for those who had contact with the horse as little is known about the life threatening virus.

Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer of Queensland Health: “It’s very very hard to make any generalisations about it, except that we know it is very difficult to catch, it is not a particularly infectious virus to humans.”

Biosecurity Queensland has quarantined the property and insists all of coastal Queensland is at risk.

Ron Glanville, Chief Biosecurity Officer: “We need to realise that just because we’ve had an outbreak or a case of Hendra Virus at Tewantin this week doesn’t mean that’s where the risk is.”

It is known the virus spreads from fruit bats to horses and then is contracted by humans.

The results released today are baseline tests of the nine people who had contact with the horse. They won’t reveal conclusively if they’ve been infected with the Hendra Virus.

Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer of Queensland Health: “Remembering that the first test only gives us the baseline, it doesn’t give us any answers about exposure to this horse, it’s the test in 21 days that will tell us if the person’s had any result.”

Funding of around $1-million is required for continued research into the dangerous virus.

Kendall Gilding, QUT News