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Warning Issued Over Bats Carrying Rabies-Like Virus

Do NOT touch them!

Warning Issued Over Bats Carrying Rabies-Like Virus

NSW Health has issued a warning for people to avoid contact with bats as we enter the warmer months.

Director of Communicable Diseases Brach at NSW Health Dr Vicky Sheppeard reported that 142 people in New South Wales have already been administered with rabies post-exposure treatment this year after being bitten or scratched by a bat.

"We're reminding everyone at this time of year that bats can carry a very serious virus, like rabies, and not to handle bats at all," Dr Sheppeard told Triple M.

"This infection has been found in bats in places like Centnnial Park, so anywhere in NSW - including in Sydney - you shouldn't handle a bat.

 

"The infections are caused by being either bitten or scratched.

"If you are bitten or scratched, you should wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water for at least five minutes, put on an antiseptic and call your GP.

"The virus that we are concerned about in bats is called the lyssavirus and it's like rabies. It is very important to prevent it because once the infection takes hold, there is no cure for the infection."

Dr Sheppeard advised that if you think a bat needs help, you should call an animal handler, such as someone from WIRES.

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