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Photo credit: Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld (www.wildlife.org.au)
The Metro South Public Health Unit has confirmed that an orphaned baby bat recovered from Lakewood Avenue Park in Parkinson has tested positive for Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV).
Dr Bhakti Vasant, Public Health Physician at Metro South Public Health, said that ABLV infection is fatal to humans and anyone who could have had contact with this bat is urged to present to their doctor urgently and ask their doctor to contact the Public Health Unit immediately.
“The tiny baby bat was found under the bridge in Lakewood Avenue Park in Parkinson on Brisbane's south side on Thursday 10 December. It was taken into care by appropriately trained and vaccinated carers.
“The bat, which subsequently died, was sent for testing for ABLV and was found to be positive. This result was notified to Queensland Health and relevant follow-up was undertaken by the Metro South Public Health Unit.
“We have been in contact with those people who reported the bat when it was found, and also those who cared for it to check on the details of any contact they had with the bat and whether they were vaccinated. Once the bat was rescued, it was only handled by trained and vaccinated carers,” said Dr Vasant.
“It is very important to provide urgent treatment if anyone has had a scratch or bite from a bat to prevent a lethal disease,” she said.
Dr Vasant said bats should not be handled by members of the public under any circumstances even if they appear dead. 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 (1300 264 625) or a local bat care organisation – search for “bat care".