‘Take this seriously’: Why bats falling dead from the sky could KILL humans
- A health warning has been issued for Australian not to touch bats or flying foxes
- Bats and flying foxes can carry the potentially fatal Australian bat Lyssavirus
- Thousands of bats died from heat stroke last year and fell to the ground
- Those removing bats from their gardens should not touch them, warning states
Residents have been warned not to touch dead bats amid fears that they could transmit a potentially deadly virus.
Queensland Health warned locals not to touch or help injured bats or flying foxes.
‘If you find an injured bat or flying fox, please do not touch it or attempt to help the animal yourself. Instead, contact the RSPCA Queensland or your local wildlife care group. Bats may carry bacteria or viruses harmful to humans,’ the warning states.
Official figures show that 233 people have potentially been exposed to deadly Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) in 2019, according to The Courier Mail.
Heat stressed bats and flying foxes that fall to the ground are a health risk to humans, Queensland Health has warned
Thousands of bats have died from heat stroke, with many falling onto pavements or in gardens in Queensland.
‘The message ‘don’t touch bats’ isn’t new advice, but it’s important advice that people should take seriously,’ Dr Heidi Carroll, Queensland Health Medical Director of the Communicable Diseases Branch told 9 News.
‘When people try to move a bat that appears to be dead or injured, that’s when they are most likely to be scratched or bitten.
‘Scratches, bites and bat saliva into the eyes, nose or mouth are very serious and require immediate medical assessment to prevent the potential development of ABLV infection.’
Official figures show that 233 people have potentially been exposed to deadly Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) in 2019
Three Queenslanders have died from Australian bat lyssavirus since 1996 – the most recent in February 2013.
The treatment for any bat or flying fox wound is to wash with soap for five minutes, apply antiseptic, and see a doctor.
There is a series of injections that can be given to stop the development of Australian bat lyssavirus.