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Authorities concerned by new hendra virus dev -

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ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Queensland authorities are deeply concerned about a deadly new development
with hendra virus.

In a world first, scientists say a dog has contracted the virus from a horse that died on a
property south-west of Brisbane.

Authorities have called for an urgent meeting with interstate scientists and are urging people to
keep dogs and cats away from sick horses to reduce the risk of infection.

From Brisbane, Stephanie Smail reports.

STEPHANIE SMAIL, REPORTER: Flying foxes, horses, humans and now dogs.

RICK SYMONS, QLD CHIEF VETERINARY OFFICER: This is the first time that dogs under natural
circumstances have been shown to be in contact with hendra virus.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Biosecurity Queensland says it's likely the kelpie caught the virus from an
infected horse on this quarantined property at Mount Alford, south-west of Brisbane. Queensland
Health says it's an unprecedented situation.

JEANETTE YOUNG, QLD CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER: This has changed our knowledge quite significantly in
that it's the first time that another species has been infected. So we do need to work that through
and see what that means.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The discovery is raising questions about whether humans are now at greater risk of
contracting the hendra virus, but Queensland Health says it would be harder for dogs to pass the
virus on.

JEANETTE YOUNG: We know about the risks from horses, we don't really know the risks from other
animals, but we do know that humans need to be exposed to a very large amount of virus.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: Authorities say the family pet will have to be put down.

RICK SYMONS: You can imagine keeping a dog alive that's potentially got a virus that can infect the
family or infect people that are dealing with it. So there's a really high risk in actually keeping
that dog alive.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The remaining horses and dogs on the Mount Alford property are still being
monitored, but authorities say they're not showing any signs of illness. The property owners are
being tested too.

JEANETTE YOUNG: I'm confident that there's minimal risk to humans from this particular dog because
this dog hasn't had any evidence that it's excreted the virus.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: No other dogs or cats on the 12 properties currently under quarantine in
Queensland have tested positive for the virus, but the State Government says it's still cause for

ANNA BLIGH, QLD PREMIER: We need to understand better what is happening with this disease. It is
relatively unknown and, despite the scientific effort to date, there are continuing developments
that I think are very worrying.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: The Premier, Anna Bligh, has again ruled out the option of culling flying foxes,
which are believed to spread hendra to horses and humans.

ANNA BLIGH: We don't know a lot about this disease but what the scientists tell us is that bats
that are in a state of distress - that is they've lost their habitat, they've been moved or they've
been distressed by things like culling - can in fact make the spread of this disease worse, and
that's not something we want to do.

STEPHANIE SMAIL: An emergency meeting of the New South Wales and Queensland joint hendra task force
has been called for tomorrow.