AS IF AIDS, Ebola and the Achuapa Febrile Syndrome were not enough, it is now the turn of a mysterious viral disease whose outbreak in Australia is not only proving deadly for the horses but also for humans. Australian scientists are now grappling on ways and means to deal with the onslaught which has so far claimed 14 horses and two men.
What has worried the scientists is that the virus, identified as a morbillivirus, which they considered to be under control is now turning into an ominous threat. It manifested first in horses leading to their twitching and subsequent filling of lungs with blood and fluids, choking them to death. Vic Rail, a renowned horse trainer, also lost his life in a similar manner. So did Mark Preston, an Australian horse farmer. The virus caused the cells lining the lung blood vessels to bundle together creating holes in the lung walls, which caused the fluid to leak into the lungs.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.