Vaccinations rise following lyssavirus deaths

There has been a sharp rise in the number of lyssavirus vaccinations following the death of an eight-year-old boy who succumbed to the virus.
Almost 300 people have sought the vaccination, up over 100 per cent on the same period last year.
Lincoln Flynn was scratched by a flying fox about two months before becoming ill.
Health experts have recommended that anyone who suspects they may have been scratched or bitten by a bat in the last few years to be vaccinated against the virus, which is similar to rabies. Continue reading Vaccinations rise following lyssavirus deaths

Veterinary vaccination pioneer dies

Inge Leonard has died at age 85.

Born Inge Adele Zanger in Neandertal, Germany, Leonard’s first job was in the food industry in the microbiology side of quality control.

In 1957, she travelled to Australia on a working holiday with then-husband. She found employument as a technician in a Randwick-based veterinary biological company, Biological Institute of Australia (BIO).

BIO . . . → Read More: Veterinary vaccination pioneer dies

Global effort leads to the biggest victory in veterinary history

The Rinderpest virus

The Rinderpest virus. (Picture Rajnish Kaushik)

Scientists are confident that the acute viral disease rinderpest, that has devastated cattle and their keepers for thousands of years, has been eradicated world-wide.

The eradication is being heralded as the biggest achievement in veterinary history and is expected to save countless lives in some of the poorest countries of the world.

The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation has suspended efforts to track the disease and expects to make an official announcement that the virus has been wiped off the face of the planet at the World Organisation for Animal Health meeting in May next year.

It will be only the second time in history that a devastating viral disease has been eradicated, the first being the human disease smallpox in 1980.

In its progress report on the global effort to eradicate rinderpest, released in October, the FAO said the dreaded virus was now believed to be extinct.

The last known outbreak occurred in 2001 in Kenya. In 2006 vaccinations for the virus stopped and field operations ceased earlier this year.

Australia has been free of the disease for more than eighty years after an outbreak involving 28 cattle herds near Fremantle in Western Australia was brought under control in 1923. Continue reading Global effort leads to the biggest victory in veterinary history

Rabies closer than you think

Many Australian pet owners are unaware they live in one of the few countries where rabies vaccination is unnecessary.
But people and animals as close to as on Bali, one of our most popular holiday islands,  are vulnerable to this preventable disease which kills someone, somewhere on the planet, every 10 minutes.
Virtually free of rabies until 2008, Bali is struggling to control a rapid spread of rabies after it caused around 78 deaths. One of them, eight-year-old Putu Valentino Rosiadi was looking forward to starting third grade this month. But instead of buying him a new school uniform and exercise books, his mourning father cradles a black and white photo of his son.
The boy was next door to his home when a stray dog attacked him, sinking its teeth into the boy’s right calf. Sent home after being stitched up at a local hospital, his family was told no cases of rabies had been reported in their area so all would be well. A couple of weeks ago a high fever hit and Valentino died two days later.
On World Rabies Day 2010 at the end of September, Vets Beyond Borders, the Australian veterinary industry’s charitable organisation established in 2003, is inviting veterinary practices across NSW to partner with them to raise funds for ongoing volunteer-based projects in the Asia-Pacific region – many of which have rabies and other zoonotic disease eradication at the core of their rationale. Continue reading Rabies closer than you think