Warning as ‘starving bats’ pose health risk to south-east Queensland

“They mentioned the chance of ABLV  [Australian bat lyssavirus] was low however strongly beneficial that I’ve the course of injections.”

Mr Lott believed the flashing headlight on his helmet disoriented the bat.

A Queensland Well being spokesman mentioned hospitals had seen a 30 per cent enhance within the quantity of people that had been bitten or scratched by bats, in contrast with final 12 months.

Janine Barret of Biosecurity Queensland mentioned that due to dry situations, bats in south-east Queensland have been ravenous, making the probability of contact with pets and folks unusually excessive.

“Each hunger and heat-stress in bats make contact with a distressed bat extra seemingly,” Dr Barrett mentioned.

“Nevertheless, in case you see a bat, useless or alive, on the bottom, don’t contact it.

“Solely rabies-vaccinated people who find themselves skilled in dealing with bats and utilizing applicable private protecting gear ought to rescue or study a bat.”

Communicable Illnesses medical director Heidi Carroll mentioned there have been about 300 reported instances of potential publicity to ABLV annually in Queensland,  primarily due to “untrained folks dealing with bats”.

“The message ‘don’t contact bats’ isn’t new recommendation but it surely’s necessary recommendation that individuals ought to take severely,” Dr Carroll mentioned.

“When folks attempt to transfer a bat that seems to be useless or injured, that’s when they’re most definitely to be scratched or bitten.

“Scratches, bites and bat saliva into the eyes, nostril or mouth are very critical and require fast medical evaluation to forestall the potential growth of ABLV an infection.”

If you’re bitten or scratched by a bat or uncovered to bat saliva:

  1. Instantly wash the wound gently with cleaning soap and water for no less than 5 minutes.
  2. If accessible, apply an antiseptic comparable to Betadine after washing.
  3. If bat saliva is in your eyes, nostril or mouth, flush the world completely with water.
  4. Instantly contact a physician to rearrange vaccination.
  5. Contact the RSPCA hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) or a wildlife carer to gather the bat for testing, whether it is accessible.

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