New one study A new type of Hendra virus has been discovered in the urine of small Australian bats and flying dogs. IFLScience. The pathogen can infect both horses and humans, and the disease is often fatal. The results indicate that a new variant called HeV-g2 is more common than expected.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Hendra virus is a growing problem. The pathogen mainly infects horses, but occasionally humans, and the disease is extremely fatal in both species. The spread of the virus is currently limited to eastern Australia.
Symptoms of infection can vary greatly, in mild cases it is only flu-like, but often develops into a fatal respiratory or neurological disorder. No specific treatment is available yet, patients receive standard intensive care. There is already a vaccine in horses, which also reduces the risk of human disease.
Alison PillIn this study, Griffith University staff and colleagues studied an outbreak of the new Hendra virus. The pathogen infected a horse in New South Wales, and the animal soon died. The sample first produced a negative test, but the subsequent test introduced for HeV-g2 actually detected the virus.
Experts compared the new version to urine samples from a gray-headed flying dog.
The results showed 99 percent identity, and the pathogen appeared to be widespread.
For four years, researchers collected additional samples at sites in Queensland and discovered HeV-g2 in several species. It is true that the variant was present in a small percentage in the samples.
According to Bell, the new Hendra virus is more widespread than expected. The team believes that pathogens should be better controlled in nature.
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