Black fly­ing fox urine in Hen­dra link

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

HORSES are most likely to catch Hen­dra from urine ex­creted by black fly­ing foxes.

The new re­search – a ma­jor ad­vance­ment in un­der­stand­ing how the deadly virus is spread – has been dis­cussed at a wildlife dis­ease con­fer­ence on the Sun­shine Coast.

Bat ex­pert Hume Field said a three- year study of 3000 of the an­i­mals showed a strong link be­tween black fly­ing fox urine and Hen­dra.

“There was much more of the virus in ( bat) urine than in fae­ces or saliva,” the Eco­Health Al­liance sci­en­tist said.

But he said more re­search was needed to de­ter­mine ex­actly how in­fected horses come into con­tact with the urine.

The re­search would be use­ful for horse own­ers to bet­ter un­der­stand the risks of Hen­dra and help them to de­cide whether to vac­ci­nate their an­i­mals, Dr Field said.

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