Rabies and Australian Bat Lyssavirus
Recently there has been an unusually high number of requests for anti-rabies treatment for people who have been bitten or scratched by bats. These injuries are occurring when people are picking up bats that appear injured. People are advised not to handle bats at all, even if they are trapped or injured.
ACT Health issues health warning
Only vaccinated people who have been trained in the care of bats should handle them. Anyone who comes across an injured bat should contact the RSPCA on 6287 8113, or call the after hours wildlife rescue officer on 0413 495 031.
If you see an injured bat, do not touch it or pick it up.
ALL Australian bats have the potential to carry the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL).
If you are bitten, scratched or licked by a bat it is important to wash the wound or area thoroughly, for about five minutes, with soap and water. If saliva from a bat went into your eyes, nose or mouth flush well with water. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.
These reported injuries are usually occurring when people are attempting to free the bats from netting over fruit trees or when the animal has become trapped on fencing.
Fact sheet and media release
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