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Hendra victim's family pleads for vaccine

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posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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Hendra victim's family pleads for vaccine


www.theaustralian.news.com.au

THE family of the fourth man to die from Hendra virus has pleaded for a vaccine to be developed to protect against the lethal disease.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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So much focus on the swine flu and yet here is a virus in Australia that has killed 4 people. It's pretty hard to catch at this stage, but it is carried by flying foxes and spread to horses and then to humans. Most of the dead have been vets treating the horses.

What worries me is the Hendra virus was only identified first in 1994 and struck once in 1999, then has reappeared and spread in the last 5 years. This spread of this virus has paralleled the emergence and spread of SARS coronavirus. The thought of Hendra jumping the intermediate host is quite scary given the massive spread of Flying Foxes throughout the Australian Eastern seaboard.

I hope they do work on a vaccine!

www.theaustralian.news.com.au
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 2/9/09 by Shere Khaan]



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 09:47 PM
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Virus classification
Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA)
Order: Mononegavirales

Family: Paramyxoviridae

Genus: Henipavirus

Type species
Hendravirus

Species
Nipahvirus


Henipavirus is a genus of the family Paramyxoviridae, order Mononegavirales containing two members, Hendravirus and Nipahvirus. The henipaviruses are naturally harboured by Pteropid fruit bats (flying foxes) and are characterised by a large genome, a wide host range and their recent emergence as zoonotic pathogens capable of causing illness and death in domestic animals and humans.[1]

en.wikipedia.org...





Nipahvirus is a Hendra-like virus and has about a 48% mortality rate

Outbreak of Hendra-Like Virus -- Malaysia and Singapore, 1998-1999
www.cdc.gov...

[edit on 2-9-2009 by azureskys]

[edit on 2-9-2009 by azureskys]



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 10:07 PM
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Fact sheet N°329
July 2009

Hendra virus


Key facts
•Hendra virus can cause fatal respiratory and neurological diseases.
•Hendra virus can be transmitted to people from horses.
•Hendra virus can cause severe disease and death in horses.
•There is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or horses.
•Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural hosts of Hendra virus.


Hendra virus (HeV) is a rare, emerging zoonotic virus (a virus transmitted to humans from animals), that can cause respiratory and neurological disease and death in people. It can also cause severe disease and death in horses, resulting in considerable economic losses for horse breeders.

Initially named Equine Morbilivirus, Hendra virus is a member of the genus Henipavirus, a new class of virus in the Paramyxoviridae family. It is closely related to Nipah virus.

Although Hendra virus has caused only a few outbreaks, its potential for further spread and ability to cause disease and death in people have made it a public health concern. The concern has heightened in the most recent outbreaks, as the horses’ symptoms have shifted to become largely neurological instead of respiratory. This suggests the possibility of genetic diversity in the strain, and potentially a more infective virus.


Related links


- Hendra virus (HeV) infection

- Table: Chronology of Hendra virus outbreaks [gif 11kb]

- Nipah virus




Outbreaks
Hendra virus was first recognized in 1994 during an outbreak of acute respiratory disease among 21 horses in Australia. Two people were infected, and one died. Since then, there have been another ten outbreaks, all in Australia, and three involving human cases.

Transmission
Hendra virus is transmitted to people through close contact with infected horses or their body fluids.

To date, no human-to-human transmission of Hendra virus has been documented.

Signs and symptoms
Human infections with Hendra virus range from mild influenza-like illness to fatal respiratory or neurological disease. Infected people initially develop fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), sore throat and a dry cough. They could also have enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy and vertigo.

The incubation period (interval from infection to onset of symptoms) ranges from five to 14 days. To date, there have been six confirmed human cases including three deaths.

One of the people who died developed pneumonitis, respiratory failure, renal failure, and arterial thrombosis. The patient died of cardiac arrest.

Another person demonstrated an unusual, progressive fatal neurological illness. He initially had a mild type of inflammation of the brain (meningoencephalitis) with a sore throat, headache, drowsiness, vomiting and neck stiffness. After treatment with antibiotics, he made a full recovery, but 13 months later he developed signs of encephalitis that progressed to coma and death.

The three infected people who made a full recovery have had no residual problems or relapse.

Diagnosis
Hendra virus infection can be diagnosed by a number of different laboratory tests:

•serum neutralization;
•enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA);
•polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay;
•immunofluorescence assay; and
•virus isolation by cell culture.
Treatment
There are currently no drugs or vaccines available to treat Hendra virus infection. Intensive supportive care with treatment of symptoms is the main approach to managing the infection in people.

Natural host of Hendra virus
Fruit bats of the family Pteropodidae – particularly the species belonging to the Pteropus category – are the natural hosts for Hendra virus. There is no apparent disease in fruit bats.

It is assumed that the geographic distribution of Henipaviruses overlap with that of Pteropus genus. This hypothesis was reinforced with the evidence of Henipavirus infection in Pteropus bats from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Timor-Leste.

Recently, African fruit bats of the genus Eidolon, family Pteropodidae, were found positive for antibodies against Nipah and Hendra viruses indicating that these viruses might be present within the geographic distribution of Pteropodidae bats in Africa.
(read more at)

www.who.int...



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 10:30 PM
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It has really hit home to me how vulnerable we are today to all of these viruses that at one point would have remained isolated and localized. Our modern way of life means that a virus originating in the outback of Australia for example, now potentially has the whole world as its oyster.

The sheer number of viruses existing in all the far flung corners of the world, which are now potential threats not just to their isolated corner of things but to us all, means in my mind, that global pandemics will become the norm -- at least until there are so few of us left, we will be back in a stone-age equilibrium once again with diseases contained to where they are, and where some host takes them on foot.




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