The Metro South public health unit is urging West End market-goers to call health authorities, after a diseased bat was found at Davies Park on Saturday morning.
The bat was found in the park by a member of the public during the popular West-End markets, and tested positive to the potentially deadly Australian Bat Lyssavirus.
Metro South public health physician, Kari Jarvinen told Brisbane Times, anyone who had touched or handled the bat could have been exposed to the virus.
“We need to ascertain what exposure the person has had because immediate treatment flowing a bat scratch or bite can prevent a very serious and usually lethal disease.”
“Since 1996 three people have died as a result of Australian bat Lyssavirus exposure following bites or scratches from bats.”
Dr Jarvinen says anyone at risk of exposure should call 13 HEALTH urgently.
According to the physician, more than 100 cases of potential exposure to ABL are reported each year, and usually relate to people being scratched or bitten by bats.
“A bat bite, scratch or mucous membrane exposure to bat salvia is necessary to transmit the virus,” he says.
“Only vaccinated people who have been trained in the care of bats should ever handle bats.”
Anyone who finds a sick or injured bat is urged to call the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection on 1300 130 372 or the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL.
If you have been in contact or close contact with the diseased bat, call 13 HEALTH immediately.