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Hendra Virus Infection

Hendra Virus Infection: Introduction

Hendra virus infection is a potentially serious, life-threatening disease caused by the Hendra virus. Hendra virus infection is rare and has only occurred in a handful of human cases in Australia.

Hendra virus infection is a relatively new viral infection in humans, and the infection is still being studied and information is evolving. The Hendra virus is related to the Nipah virus, which causes a similar viral infection.

The Hendra virus is carried by flying foxes, a type of fruit bat. The Hendra virus appears to be transmitted to horses by contact with flying foxes. Humans can catch a Hendra virus infection through contact with fluids and excretions of infected horses. Hendra virus infection does not appear to be transmitted from human to human or from the flying fox to a human.

People at risk for contracting Hendra virus include those who have significant exposure to infected horses and their body fluids and excrement, such as riders, ranchers and veterinarians.

Symptoms of Hendra virus infection include severe flu-like symptoms and fever. Complications can be serious, even-life threatening. For more information on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of Hendra virus infection.

Making a diagnosis of Hendra virus infection begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. Living or visiting Australia and exposure to sick horses are important clues that may increase the suspicion of a diagnosis of Hendra virus infection.

Diagnostic testing includes a variety of tests that can detect the Hendra virus. These include ELISA tests that check for antibodies that the body makes to fight an infection in response to exposure to Hendra virus. Testing may also include a CT, EEG, and lumbar puncture, which can help to diagnose if the complication of encephalitis is present.

A diagnosis of Hendra virus infection can easily be missed or delayed, because it is rare and for other reasons. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of Hendra virus infection.

There is no definite treatment for or vaccine to prevent Hendra virus infection. Treatment of Hendra virus infection includes getting plenty of rest, increasing fluid intake, and taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever and body aches. Antiviral drugs may also be used. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of Hendra virus infection. ...more »

Hendra Virus Infection: Symptoms

The symptoms of Hendra virus infection can closely resemble symptoms of influenza. They include fever, flu-like symptoms, cough, sore throat, muscle aches and fatigue.

Symptoms may vary in character and severity between individuals. Hendra virus infection can progress to a critical, life-threatening condition call encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the ...more symptoms »

Hendra Virus Infection: Treatments

The first step in treating Hendra virus infection is prevention. Prevention measures include avoiding contact with sick horses or wearing effective personal protective equipment that includes an approved respirator and gloves and other approved impervious equipment that covers the eyes and body fully.

There is no definite treatment for or vaccine to prevent Hendra virus ...more treatments »

Hendra Virus Infection: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of Hendra virus infection can easily be missed or delayed because it is so rare. In addition, the symptoms of Hendra virus infection, such as flu-like symptoms, fever and body aches, closely resemble symptoms of other more common diseases, such as influenza.

However, because of a high fatality rate and the risk of serious complications, such as ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Hendra Virus Infection

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Hendra Virus Infection:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Hendra Virus Infection?

Hendra Virus Infection: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Hendra Virus Infection:

Misdiagnosis and Hendra Virus Infection

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" more »

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More information about Hendra Virus Infection

  1. Hendra Virus Infection: Introduction
  2. Symptoms
  3. Treatments
  4. Misdiagnosis
  5. Home Testing
  6. Complications

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