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Schoolgirl’s lyssavirus scare ends well as WOMAD, Fringe attendees urged to beware of bats

Schoolgirl’s lyssavirus scare ends well as WOMAD, Fringe attendees urged to beware of bats

When seven-year-used Port Lincoln schoolgirl Jemma Fiegert was bitten by a microbat her mum Kylie’s gut feeling was to creep to the well being facility.

Key factors:

  • Australia has many species of flying foxes and microbats that would possibly possibly well lift the Australian bat lyssavirus
  • Three folks private died of the virus in Australia, all in Queensland, and anybody who is bitten or scratched would possibly possibly well peaceful peek scientific serve
  • Authorities are warning the final public to be aware of the 25,000 bats in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens one day of the WOMAD and Fringe festivals

She was trusty to worry — bats can lift the deadly Australian bat lyssavirus (ABL) and the implications will were dire.

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Jemma had been bitten whereas amassing her to find on the stop of the college day after the bat flew into a window and fell onto her hand.

“There were four cramped little pinpricks on her hand,” Mrs Fiegert said.

“It’s most likely you’ll possibly well well barely even discover that it was there.

“The doctor said to me if she purchased ill sooner than having the vaccine there was no medication for the Australian rabies, which known as the lyssavirus.

“That was rather of a frightening moment for me — I didn’t realise how harmful it the truth is was.”

Treatment for a bat chunk comprises washing the wound totally with cleansing soap, an immunoglobulin injection and four doses of a vaccine over a two-week interval.

“It was reasonably frightening, particularly when the doctor came in and said they were attempting to offer (the immunoglobulin) for the reason that Royal Adelaide didn’t private it either,” Ms Fiegert said.

A bat takes flight on a sunny day.

The gray-headed flying fox pteropus poliocephalus, found out within the Botanic Gardens Adelaide, can lift lyssavirus.(

Equipped: Brad Leue


Exiguous likelihood, ‘dreadful’ consequences

University of Adelaide Plant life and fauna and Conservation medication senior lecturer Wayne Boardman said there had been three fatalities in Australia since 1994.

A man operating on a bat.

Dr Boardman working with a gray-headed flying fox.(

Equipped: Wayne Boardman


“The possibilities are incredibly diminutive, but the implications are dreadful if an particular person were to gain the lyssavirus from the bat,” he said.

“Basically flying foxes or little microbats don’t come into contact with folks in any admire … so this was a pure misadventure — it hit a window and had fallen down.

“The possibilities are, in those conditions, that it is doubtlessly no longer purchased the lyssavirus, as a result of that was an accident.

“Whereas those bats, after they gain contaminated with the lyssavirus, have a tendency to be rather more aggressive … they might be able to chunk and that’s the manner it is transmitted, thru the saliva.”

A tiny bat showing its teeth.

Gould’s wattled bat is one of eight microbat species found out on the Eyre Peninsula.(

Equipped: Alex Holmes


Virus kills bats too

Dr Boardman said the virus was rare in bats.

“They focus on a one per cent zero incidence, which manner that one per cent of the bats would possibly possibly well need antibody response to the bat lyssavirus,” he said.

“But that would not imply to verbalize they are particularly contaminated at that time — doubtlessly the possibilities of the bat having the virus is a ways lower that the one per cent.”

He said lyssavirus was the most attention-grabbing viral disease in bats that contaminated the creatures.

“Plenty of the assorted viral diseases – hendra and coronavirus in China – they do no longer purpose any disease within the bat,” Dr Boardman said.

The extent of the disease in microbats was no longer known.

“Bats would possibly possibly well gain contaminated and then die on their have within the heart of the bush and you by no manner discover them,” Dr Boardman said.

“We’re very careful of telling folks no longer to touch them — the implications are dire when folks gain it, so we so we desire to steer sure of it in any admire costs.”

South Australia’s Well being Protection director Michaela Curiosity saidthe verbalize recorded 9 bat exposures last year that required precautionary medication, together with the rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulins.

Warnings were issued to beware of bats within the metropolis’s parklands one day of the Fringe and WOMAD festivals this month.

The Department of Atmosphere and Water’s Jason VanWeenan said whereas the likelihood of coming into contact with bats was low, gray-headed flying fox numbers in Botanic Park had risen to 25,000.

Schoolgirl’s lyssavirus scare ends well as WOMAD, Fringe attendees urged to beware of bats