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Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)

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The imperative to develop a human vaccine for the Hendra virus in Australia


The emergence of bat-related zoonotic infections continues to be fueled by the human impact on the environment through the deforestation of habitats of the fruit bats (6). The rapid pace at which HeV mutates, its virulence, as well as the cumulative human-environmental insults do not afford us time should an outbreak, when it occurs, becomes unmanageable. This can result in preventable loss of life, as was observed in the recent Ebola epidemic (7, 11). The current equine HeV vaccine is testament to our ability to rapidly develop and produce a vaccine that addressed an immediate zoonotic epidemic threat with some success. Unfortunately, given the recent spate of HeV-related equine deaths across Australia, the equine vaccine/quarantine policy currently in place (to contain and prevent HeV infection) is succumbing to the natural evolution of HeV and is becoming less effective. It would be more prudent to develop a human HeV vaccine in developing a primary preventative strategy against HeV to replace or possibly augment the current preventative strategy in place, that is, equine vaccine/quarantine policy. Acknowledging the recent global emerging epidemiological trends concerning bat-related zoonotic infections, the development of a human HeV vaccine is imperative, if not vital, to the biosecurity and public health of Australia.