Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Had business in Brisbane today and drove down off the mountain and noticed these flying foxes roosting along the banks of the Brisbane River, where ever I looked, foxes, hanging off the trees.

In far north Queensland the obvious threat is the salty crocodile which will eat you if given the opportunity. The flying foxes to me are just as dangerous as noticed horses grazing in paddocks metres away from this huge colony ..

The not fully understood Hendra Virus HeV which will under experimental conditions be reproduced in cats and guinea pigs. It is possible to transmit HeV from experimentally infected cats to horses, but experimental transmission from horse to horse, or from horse to horse or from horses to cats, to date has not been possible, I understand.

Six people have been known to be infected with the virus three dying. The virus spills over into horses from flying foxes and the infected horse can then infect humans and 50% death rate.

The fruit bat, like the saltwater crocodile is a protected species which it should be but horses should not be kept in the vicinity of such a huge colony, I believe, with only my layman's take on the virus this is asking for trouble.

The virus appears to follow the path of flying foxes to horses to humans and I believe does not transmit from flying fox to humans. The flying fox are a natural host of the so called HeV. This virus has only ever been detected here in Queensland, Australia, one case in Lismore just over the Queensland border.

A potentially lethal situation.....easily rectified...take the equines away from the vicinity of the colony.

The virus has only been detected firstly in 1994 in Queensland Australia, nowhere else in the world and the risk is minimal. The scientific community I believe is conducting ongoing research into this, I believe, not fully understood virus, and the Australian scientific community in the past have proved to be innovative and cutting edge.....

We did have an outbreak of Equine Influenza introduced by protocols at the Quarantine Station not being adhered to and our status is again Equine Influenza free due to the aggressive innoculation and quarantine of individual properties during the crisis and a virtual standstill of all equine movements. I do believe this has not been achievable anywhere else in the world but will stand corrected on this.....Of course Equine Influenza has nothing to do with the above only the fact it is a horse disease , am pointing out what was achievable in this country, with the equine community and government prepared to take the financial hit and go the hard yards, and they were hard, brought me together with many others, to my knees financially, to get rid of the disease.


Blogger Lucy said...

Yikes! I didn't know that. Are these related to the kind that are here in the southwest except they live in caves?

November 18, 2008 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

I mean Arizona/New Mexico US southwest US.

November 18, 2008 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

Forgive me for giving you a scare.....only place in the world has been present is in Queensland, Australia, and one case just over the Queensland border, at Lismore, NSW. Nowhere else in the world and the virus has only been found in the huge fruit bats here in Queensland along with the lyssavirus. Research is ongoing on how the virus spills over into the equine and then into the humans and only reared its ugly consequences in 1994. The virus is not fully understood but the biosecurity and scientific people in Australia are very innovative and cutting edge. The risk is minimal but I would not have my horses anywhere near flying foxes as we call the fruit bats here. I guess one would say but that is where I graze my animals and the flying foxes have decided to roost here...well if it were I cutting losses would be the prudent way to go...

I was quite surprised today to observe the horses in paddocks quite close to this huge huge colony.....a very minimal risk to be sure but in my mind unacceptable because of the mystery still surrounding this virus....and virus do mutate which is the real danger....

November 18, 2008 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...


Triple forgive me...pythons, crocodiles and killer bats......did you ever intend to visit this country....please do not let me put you off!!!!!!!


lizzie B.

November 18, 2008 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Artoholic said...

Sting, bite or eat you. My backyard exactly.

The Spectacled Bats are just due to be hit with the paralysis ticks up here. Last year record numbers had to be hospitalised - they flew up a specialist team from Australia Zoo to help cope. I visited the bat hospital up in Kuranda - nothing prepares you for the SMELL.

It's a worry about the horses and the virus. It was a sad story about that young vet that died.

November 19, 2008 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

I put that photo up in Flickr and a BatPerson thought I was advocating naughty bats...no such thing as the bats are an important part of the eco chain and they must be accommadated as humans continually enroach on wildlife habitat....but minimizing the risk of this virus.preventing as much as possible contact with the horse I think is sensible....and sensible for the Bat People as well....I had better not...go there eh...I just started to giggle...

I believe the planet will fight back through our overpopulating the earth maybe through killer virus which lie benign until we get too crowded, ebola is in the same paddock as HeV...did you ever see the tele movie years ago Edge of Darkness? Heck I am dark and twisty at times....

I had better duck off to the watch house in Toowoomba an hours drive to the south,a friend of mine is in jail for being a "public nuisance" and need to take his insulin to him....he is an eccentric in a town which will not tolerate anything not like them which is a pity.....there is room for the characters.....another story

Cheers Cindy off to jail I go.....

November 19, 2008 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger diane said...

The fruit bat is an interesting animal but I don't like them and I'm not so sure that you can't get a virus straight from a bite from them.
You know we are responsible for the increase in some animal populations by providing them with more food, with our crops etc. I guess we are upsetting the balance of nature.
The bats drop filthy droppings on my balcony it is yuk trying to scrub them off.
I bet Lucy has some fearful creepy crawlies in her desert.

November 19, 2008 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

Diane, you certainly can get a virus from a bat bite or scratch....Australian Bat lyssavirus......people who work with bats are immunised.....ABLV I will not mention what it actually is but you can....google it...
On that upbeat note I will go to bed...just come home from the lock up and the local eccentric can stay there..as discovered what he has done....took in his insulin but did not bail him out....And the thunder and lightening are getting a little close....bye

November 19, 2008 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Artoholic said...

Elizabeth, you lead a life that is anything but boring!

We've just been watching the movied 28 Days, and 28 Weeks later, all about a virus passed from an aminal to humans, set in London. Total devastation.

We also just watched "I am Legend", once again about a plague virus, started from a cancer vaccine. (My son is into "end of the world movies" at the moment. He asked if a nuclear war was how it was going to finish up, but now I think it's gonna be a virus!

Scary stuff.

November 20, 2008 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Lizzie's Insomnia said...

Evening Cindy,
Actually the virus are scary and did not want to stir up too much trouble as have done a little controversy on Flickr with my picture of the bat colony....
Ebola, SARS, Nipah, lyssavirus are all found as a natural reservoir in bats which passes to a host animal and then to humans. Ebola SARS and Nipah viruses have not been found in Australian bats ...only lyssavirus and hendra virus.

SARS it is believed moved from the bats to the palm civet, to the humans in China, Nipah in Malaysia, from bats to pigs and then to people and ebola from bats to monkeys to people.

On that note who in their right mind would indulge in Kopi Luwak coffee produced from the cherry coffee nuts being harvested from the feces of the civet.!!!!!! Be posh and ask for Kopi Luwak coffee and on second thought naw might be some civet hemorrhoid material....

I am with your son into end of the world scenes....did you know that the universe is expanding and that eventually will rip apart into a nothingness dust...dust to dust...who wrote that?...a few trillion years away yet.....In my dark and twisty moments I think of these things....

Started to rain again..I am off or may be struck by a bolt .....of pure energy



November 20, 2008 at 8:26 PM  

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