Some Horse Owners Opting Not to Vaccinate For Deadly Hendra Virus

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? That is the question often posed by horse owners. In Australia, a vaccination for a deadly disease called Hendra can not only protect horses from the life-threatening disease, but humans as well. In the same biosecurity classification as Ebola, the Hendra virus’s natural host is the fruit bat. It was in 1994 that the first outbreak was reported near Brisbane, in which 21 racehorses and two humans were diagnosed with the disease.

While there is an approved Hendra vaccine made by Zoetis that many veterinarians in Australia recommend, some horse owners are concerned about the effects of vaccinations, arguing the side effects of vaccines may not be worth the risk of their horses contracting the rare, but often fatal disease. Veterinarians and medical professionals, however, feel that when a disease has demonstrated zoonotic properties – meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans – the vaccination of animals for the disease should be a priority.

Studies suggest that up to 43 percent of horse owners in Queensland, Australia may be opting not to vaccinate for Hendra, and in inland parts of the state that percentage could go as high as 70.

Read more at The Atlantic.

The post Some Horse Owners Opting Not to Vaccinate For Deadly Hendra Virus appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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