News

Virus could unlock Hendra secrets

The discovery of a new virus in Australian bat colonies could be the key to unlocking the secrets of the deadly Hendra and Nipah viruses.
The discovery of a new virus in Australian bat colonies could be the key to unlocking the secrets of the deadly Hendra and Nipah viruses. Rob Wright

SCIENTISTS believe the discovery of a new virus in Australian bat colonies could be the key to unlocking the secrets of the deadly Hendra and Nipah viruses.

The "Cedar" virus, discovered in a black bat colony in South East Queensland, has been described by scientists as a "close relative" of Hendra and Nipah, but tests have revealed it is not nearly as lethal.

Gary Crameri from CSIRO said the discovery was a breakthrough for scientists who previously knew very little about two of the deadliest diseases in the world.

He said while it was too early to suggest Cedar could not be transmitted to horses and humans, the research so far indicated animals living near infected bat colonies had not tested positive to disease.

"The significance of discovering a new henipavirus that doesn't cause disease is that it may help us narrow down what it is about the genetic makeup of viruses like Hendra and Nipah that does cause disease and death," Mr Crameri said.

"The more that we can learn about bat-borne viruses, the better chance we have of developing anti-virals and vaccines to help protect human health, Australia's livestock industry and our export trade from the threat of current and emerging animal diseases.

More than 70% of people and animals who become infected with Hendra or Nipah die soon after.

Four Australians have died from Hendra.

The Nipah Virus has claimed 30 lives world wide in the past 12 months.
 

Topics:  bats, flying fox, hendra, science, virus




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Expressions of interest open for Rowathon

No Caption

Copmanhurst to Grafton fundraiser to take place on July 10

Yamba’s newest bronzed savers

WHAT A TEAM: The latest class of bronze medallion recipients at the Yamba surf club.

Surf Life Saving Club celebrate latest crew of volunteer savers.

CYCLING: Evers scores first win in Europe

Former Clarence Valley cyclist Craig Evers with coach and also former Valley cyclist Morgan Pilley in Europe.

It has not been the easiest transition for the former Valley cyclist

Latest deals and offers

Grafton City SES Training

Grafton SES unit controller Adam Jarrett explains the process involved in being an...

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances