Second confirmed case of deadly bat disease found at park
ANOTHER flying fox recovered from Queens Park at Ipswich has tested positive for Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV).
West Moreton Health issued a public health alert on Thursday afternoon.
The latest discovery comes about five weeks after an earlier case of a bat that was also infected with the potentially lethal disease.
WMH Public Health physician Dr Penny Hutchinson said the bat was found just before midday on January 18 at the Japanese gardens of Queens Park.
It was taken into care by appropriately trained and vaccinated carers.
Dr Hutchinson said lyssavirus could prove fatal to humans.
“Anyone who could have had contact with this bat is urged to present to their doctor urgently and ask their doctor to contact the Public Health Unit immediately,” she said.
“The bat was found in an area where there is potential contact with the general public in the waterfall near the bridge, which has no water in it currently.”
The animal has since succumbed to the disease.
She said Queensland Health was immediately notified of the positive result, with relevant follow-up undertaken by the West Moreton Public Health Unit.
“We have been in contact with those people who reported the bat when it was found and also those who cared for it to check on the details of any contact they had with the bat and whether they were vaccinated,” Dr Hutchinson said.
“It is very important to provide urgent treatment if anyone has had a scratch or bite from a bat to prevent a lethal disease.”
It comes following Ipswich City Council’s recent decision to close parts of the Nerima Gardens to public access.
A council spokesman said at the time the decision was not related to lyssavirus.
He said it was due to the increased number of bats in one tree, which was deemed a potential hazard to members of the public walking below.
Dr Hutchinson said bats should not be handled by members of the public under any circumstances – even if they were dead.
If you find a sick or injured bat please contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) or a local bat care organisation – search for “bat care”.
If you have had a bite or a scratch from a bat please call 13 HEALTH or your local Public Health Unit for urgent advice.