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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    1,138

    Default I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Report on TV last night linking Hendra virus to bat urine. My horses walk down beside my garage to a concrete bay (if I open a gate so they can come down) where they wait to be let out the gate to my front 2 acres or to be floated etc. A colony of micro bats (lesser long eared bat) roost above the rafters of my open car port in the summer next to this concrete bay. I have counted up to 40 of these bats small like a little swallow and a couple could fit on your palm. They ensure there are no mozzies here so I love the little bats. I sweep up the bat poo inside my car port each day or two. But it could contain urine and I cannot be 150% certain that a little piece of bat poo with urine on it could not be in the cement bay where my horses walk. I could clean this concrete bay with chlorine or something before I bring my horses down to this cement bay.

    BUT ... now I am worried. Are there any vets or others on CH who can advise me?????? The micro bats are not there in winter and they enter the gap between the bearers and my car port roof through a tiny hole that I could block before they return to have their babies and spend the summer in my valley.

    I am worried ... need advice about bats and horses!!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    I am not a vet, although I have recently had a bat incident at our property.

    But I think you need to be very careful. Don't forget that we have two bat virus's Hendra which apparently needs a host animal to infect a person and Lyssa can infect a person directly and it can infect a host animal.

    One of my kids was at the hospital yesterday getting observed and checked for any bat virus. Thank god that nothing was picked up, not that they really have any idea on what the symptoms are. But I was told by the docter that if you do contract these virus's, Lysa is death, Hendra good chance.

    The biggest problem is the hospitals data is not up to date and not enough is known.

    I would call the DPI and insist that they give you some good advice on how to get rid of them safely. Keep in mind if you do ring, you have to get to speak to the people in Bio Security.



    Dancer


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, QLD.
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    199

    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Um, we're talking about microbats Dancer, not fruit bats. Different things. I'm not sure that either Hendra or Lyssavirus has been shown to be carried by microbats.

    Off to see if I can find any further data on that...

    ETA - yep, microbats do carry Lyssa, but is very rare.

    I would not be panicking about them kevarose, as your horses are not eating or spending much time near the bats at all.

  4. #4
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    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Hendra and Lyssa has been detected in micro bats.

    Dogs and cats have been also proven to be able to be infected with Hendra.

    What is rare, is that the general population doesn't come into contact with bats usually.

    The percentage of bats that carry the anti bodies, are quite moderate and there is a large population of bats in certain areas.

    The data seems to be changing by the day, good luck. The problem I think is, is that the virus's are mutating and they don't know how, nor do they know the symptoms for these virus's. The other problem is the long incubation time.

    So little is known, so I think everyone who is exposed in any way needs to be very careful.

    The odds are if you have 40 bats, the percentages show that there is a good chance more than one of those bats will carry the antibodies.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, QLD.
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    199

    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Yep, but antibodies are not infectious :)

    I do agree it's worth being careful and avoiding any direct contact between yourself/your horse and the bats, but I also think it needs to be kept in perspective.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Tamborine QLD
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    4,896

    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    The occurance of Hendra And Lyssa in Microbats is rare and both are only passed by either a bit (low chance) or ingestion of the placental matter, or sometimes the excretions.

    Best way to avoid it is make sure you don't store feed anywhere it could come into contact with the bats and their various excretions.
    Don't put feed bins under anywhere a bat could hang.
    Fence off any part of the paddock that bats roost over, so the horses don't eat the affected grass.

    Walking over bat poop for a short distance shouldn't be an issue, perhaps you could give their hooves a quick scrub before they walk onto the grass to get off anything that has stuck. That way there wont be any cross contamination into the paddocks.

    All of this is minor really as the bats to really watch out for are the Fruit Bats (Flying Foxes) They are much bigger and are a reddish brown. They carry a higher chance of infection as their excretions are larger and more of them carry the diseases.

  7. #7
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    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Then you know more about these virus's than the authorities do!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Tamborine QLD
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    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Dancer, the scientists who have studied this virus and its transmission understand that much about it... The DPI doesn't bother to find out every detail... Just bats = virus = sick horse...

    I work with scientists every day, they follow the research in these things and I just ask them when stuff comes up :) Makes me look more in the loop than I really am.

    The management techniques though, are common sense really. Basic avoidance and Decontamination to reduce risk of transmission.

    The bats have been around longer than the humans and horses in australia... Should they really suffer because we encroached on their habitat? No... But we can take measures to ensure there are no issues.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Brisbane, QLD.
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    199

    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???

    Nice posts, shadowmystique :)

  10. #10
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    Default RE: I have (micro) bats and horses - will we get Hendra virus???


    Not sharing your bat loving SM :-)

    Dancer


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