June 2, 2012 - 12:31PM
The federal government has announced more funding for Hendra virus research after two horses died in Queensland.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said in a statement $3 million would be dedicated to eight projects tackling different aspects of the bat-borne virus.
She said the money was going into the development of vaccines, diagnostic tools, drugs and research that examines how animals react to the virus.
The investment follows calls for more research by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
The council has identified areas for research and subjected grant applicants to rigorous review, resulting in eight proposals being selected.
Two horses have died recently in separate cases in Queensland - one at Ingham, north of Townsville, and another near Rockhampton.
Eleven people are believed to have had a low level of exposure.
The virus is believed to pass from bats to horses and from horses to humans.
It has killed four people, the latest being Rockhampton vet Alister Rodgers in 2009.
Read and Watch the Courier Mail's story about Hendra and the risks we face.