Australian Bat Lyssavirus confirmed in Darling Downs

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Darling Downs residents are being urged not to ‘wing it’ when it comes to sick or injured bats, after a confirmed case of Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) in Kingsthorpe.

The injured animal was found in a backyard in August, with the residents alerting appropriate authorities.

Director of Public Health and Community Medicine Dr Liam Flynn commended the members of the community for following all the right steps.

“They didn’t touch or handle the bat in any way which is really important, and means that no one was exposed,” Dr Flynn said.

“A trained bat handler visited the property, collected the animal, and transported it to RSPCA.”

“It was tested and found to be positive for Australian Bat Lyssavirus. This result was notified to Queensland Health and relevant follow-up was undertaken by our unit.”

The positive result is a timely reminder not to touch bats under any circumstances, as all bats and flying foxes in Australia have the potential to carry ABLV.

“Australian Bat Lyssavirus can be fatal in humans,” Dr Flynn said.

“Bats should never be handled by members of the public, including if you come across a sick or injured bat, or even if the bat appears to be dead.”

Only people who are trained and appropriately vaccinated should ever handle bats.

If you find a sick or injured bat contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).

If you have been bitten, scratched or exposed to bat saliva, seek urgent medical attention or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).