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Australian bat lyssavirus confirmed in Warwick

7 May 2021

The Darling Downs Public Health Unit has confirmed that a little red flying fox recovered from a residence in Warwick has tested positive for Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV).

Darling Downs Public Health Senior Medical Officer Dr Liam Flynn said the positive test result was a timely reminder not to touch bats.

“ABLV can be fatal in humans,” Dr Flynn said.

“Bats should not be handled by members of the public under any circumstances, including if you come across a sick or injured bat, or even if the bat appears to be dead.”

The bat in Warwick was located at a private home in 25 April. The bat was already deceased, and after assessment by a veterinarian, the bat was sent for further testing.

“The bat was tested for ABLV and was found to be positive. This result was notified to Queensland Health and relevant follow-up was undertaken by our unit,” Dr Flynn said.

“We have been in contact with those people who reported the bat when it was found, and those who had contact with the bat and whether they were vaccinated. Once the bat was presented, it was only handled by trained and vaccinated carers.”

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

If you find a sick or injured bat please contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (ph:1300 264 625) or a local bat care organisation.

Last updated: 12 May 2021