Agnes Water man bitten by bat

AN Agnes Water man has been treated for the deadly lyssavirus after being bitten by a flying fox near Seventeen Seventy.

He was among three men bitten by the bat and will be given medical treatment after the animal tested positive for the virus.

The flying fox was killed before it was tested.

Queensland Health acting chief health officer Christine Selvey said the men were holidaying near Seventeen Seventy when they were bitten, but had since returned to their homes at Agnes Water, Hervey Bay and Ipswich.

She said arrangements were being made for the men to be treated with post-exposure prophylaxis drugs.

Dr Selvey said Queensland Health received 77 reports of bites and/or scratches from flying foxes or fruit bats last year; 28 of the mammals were available for testing and five tested positive for Australia bat lyssavirus (ABL).

“The only two known cases of ABL (lyssavirus) in humans were in the 1990s — 1996 and 1998 — and both were fatal,” she said.

“Since then we have introduced routine prophylaxis for bat bites and scratches and there have been no further cases. Most incidents like this are from people handling sick or injured flying foxes.”

The Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) and Queensland Health are warning people to avoid contact with flying foxes and report any bites or scratches to medical authorities immediately.

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