A Southern Downs property is under quarantine after two horses were infected with Australian Bat Lyssavirus.
A Southern Downs property is under quarantine after two horses were infected with Australian Bat Lyssavirus. Alasdair Young

Southern Downs property quarantined after bat disease case

A SOUTHERN Downs property is under quarantine after two horses were infected with Australian Bat Lyssavirus.

Biosecurity Queensland chief officer Dr Jim Thompson said one horse showing symptoms of ABLV was euthanased on May 6, and the second horse euthanased on May 11.

He said the latter horse tested negative for Hendra virus infection but returned a positive ABLV test result.

"There are 20 other horses on the property," he said.

"The vet involved in both cases used PPE and took appropriate precautions.

"The site will remain under quarantine while further testing is conducted on the remaining horses."

ABLV is carried by bats and flying foxes.

The Chronicle contacted Biosecurity to determine the location of the property but a spokesman refused to narrow down the property's location, citing privacy concerns.

Warwick and Toowoomba hospital staff will provide free course of preventative treatments to anyone public health authorities determine were in close contact with the dead horse.

Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Public Health Unit staff will visit the quarantined property to assess the situation and identify any potentially infected humans.

"There have only been three recorded cases in Australia, all in Queensland, and sadly, all three people passed away," chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young said.

"All three cases were the results of direct exposure to bats with Lyssavirus.

"This is the first case where Australian Bat lyssavirus has been identified in a horse."

Anyone with possible exposure will require a rabies injection and a series fo four rabies vaccine injections.

Anyone with a weakened immune system will require a fifth dose of vaccine and follow up blood tests to confirm their immunity.

This course of treatment is also known as post-exposure prophylaxis.
 
Any Darling Downs local who believes they have been in direct contact with, or in close proximity to this horse, can also contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for advice.
 
Staff at 13 HEALTH will help determine whether any further action, including testing or treatment, is required.