Hendra virus: high mortality rate in humans

The Hendra virus (HeV) infection has a high mortality rate in humans, killing four of the seven people who have ever contracted the virus.

The virus is transferred from bats to horses, before spreading to humans.

Prior to 2011 there were 14 spillover events of the virus. 44 horses were infected, all from coastal Queensland except one from northern New South Wales. Three quarters of these horses subsequently died.

“The most promising prospect for controlling HeV outbreaks in humans is the vaccine for horses that is expected to be marketed in 2013,” said Dr Young, Queensland Health.

Read more at Australian Medical Association