Lethal virus is present in bats in South Australia – as specialists warn the ‘rabies-like illness’ can KILL people if untreated
- Two exposures final month concerned bats carrying Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL)
- That is the third time ABL had been confirmed in bats in South Australia
- ABL is a rabies-like illness that may be transmitted to people if they’re bitten
- If therapy is delayed till after the onset of signs, it could possibly be deadly
- Anybody bitten or scratched by a bat ought to clear the world and apply antiseptic
A lethal virus has been present in bats in South Australia, prompting specialists to warn the ‘rabies-like illness’ may kill people if untreated.
SA Well being launched an announcement on Thursday urging locals heading outside to keep away from any contact with bats.
Dr Louise Flood, the Division for Well being and Wellbeing’s Communicable Illness Management Department, mentioned that is the third time Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL) had been confirmed in bats in South Australia.
‘ABL is a rabies-like illness that may be transmitted to people if they’re bitten or scratched by an contaminated bat and if therapy is delayed till after the onset of signs, the situation is invariably deadly,’ Dr Flood mentioned.
A lethal virus has been present in bats in South Australia , prompting specialists to warn the ‘rabies-like illness’ may kill people if untreated (inventory picture)
If therapy is delayed till after the onset of signs, the situation is ‘invariably deadly’, docs have warned
Anybody bitten or scratched by a bat, or who has come into contact with bat saliva, ought to instantly clear the world for at the least 5 minutes and apply an antiseptic
‘Whereas just one per cent of bats normally carry ABL, these two current exposures are regarding and is a crucial reminder that bats ought to solely ever be dealt with by appropriately skilled and vaccinated animal handlers.
‘Whereas the event of ABL from bat bites or scratches will be prevented by way of immediate wound administration and submit publicity prophylaxis, it is very important keep away from contact within the first place.’
Dr Mary Carr from the Division of Main Industries warned pet homeowners to maintain their animals away from bats.
‘Should you suspect your animal has been both bitten or scratched by a bat please contact your native vet or the Emergency Animal Illness hotline on 1800 675 888,’ she mentioned.
Final 12 months there have been 9 circumstances of people being uncovered to bats that required precautionary therapy, together with rabies vaccine.
Anybody bitten or scratched by a bat, or who has come into contact with bat saliva, ought to instantly clear the world for at the least 5 minutes and apply an antiseptic.
SA residents who come throughout a bat that seems to be useless, injured or in misery ought to contact Fauna Rescue SA.
What’s Australian bat Lyssavirus?
Rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) belong to a gaggle of viruses referred to as lyssaviruses. These viruses are normally transmitted through a chew from an contaminated (‘rabid’) animal.
All of them trigger an identical sickness often called rabies, which impacts the central nervous system and is normally deadly. The World Well being Organisation estimates that greater than 55,000 individuals die from rabies worldwide annually.
Rabies virus doesn’t at present happen in land dwelling animals in Australia. Nonetheless, ABLV, which is carefully associated however not similar to rabies virus, does happen in Australia, and will be transmitted from bats to people.
Solely three circumstances of human an infection with ABLV have been recorded for the reason that virus was first recognized in 1996. All three circumstances had been in Queensland and all died because of ABLV an infection after being bitten or scratched by bats.