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Qld-NSW Taskforce To Tackle Hendra Outbreaks

Monday, 11th July 2011

Queensland & NSW “will work together to investigate & respond to the Hendra virus, following the recent spate of cases across both states” reported abc.net.au. The taskforce will include chief veterinarians, health officers & scientists, as well as a CSIRO representative. Queensland's Agriculture Minister Tim Mulherin confirmed the taskforce will meet in Brisbane on Wednesday & commented: “The taskforce will work on 3 fronts: We'll be analysing the situation in both states to better understand the outbreak; identifying areas of further collaboration; & undertaking longer-term planning for managing the disease & it's impact. By bringing these experts & leaders together, we will work more closely to reduce the incidences & the impacts of Hendra cases.” NSW chief veterinary officer Ian Roth added they will discuss a coordinated approach in responding to the disease: “We'll be looking at viral issues, horse issues, how we protect human health issues, flying fox issues, all the things that are relevant to this particular problem.” There have been 5 outbreaks of Hendra virus in the past 3 weeks in both states: 3 in south-east Queensland & 2 in NSW. To date, 7 horses have died & another 40 are under quarantine; in addition, 32 people who were exposed to the infected animals are being tested & monitored for signs of the virus.

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