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"Deadly Waiting Game" For 8 Exposed To Hendra Virus

Friday, 1st July 2011

In Queensland, the 8 people “caught up in the latest Hendra virus outbreak have buckled down for the fight of their lives” reported The Courier-Mail. Most returned to work yesterday as Biosecurity Queensland “said it was confident it had contained the virus to 2 properties near Beaudesert”. The 8 “are only days into a 6-week wait to get the all clear & face the sobering statistic that of the 7 people to have (previously) contracted Hendra virus, 4 have died”. However, none of the 8 “has been offered antibody treatment by Queensland Health because it is considered too experimental given their exposure to the dead horse is considered low-to-moderate”. All 8 have had preliminary blood tests & require further tests in 3 weeks & 6 weeks before being cleared. Veterinarian Ewan Maskrey is considered the most at risk “because he was not wearing a mask when he took samples from the sick horse that died on Saturday from the virus”. But the 35-year-old father returned to work yesterday saying he wanted to “just get on with it”. Maskrey admitted feeling “numb & dazed” when learning the horse had tested positive to Hendra, adding: “It's a difficult time, quite stressful, for everyone. You feel numb. I think anybody who has been involved with these cases will tell you the same thing. You do go into a bit of a daze. You're not quite sure what to think.” And Ray Weber (whose property has been quarantined) said: “All you can do is wait & see. It's completely out of my hands now.” Weber (who was looking after the sick horse at his Cainbable Creek Rd property) was kept occupied yesterday as authorities scanned fruit trees surrounding his land for bats (believed to be the source of previous Hendra outbreaks).

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