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Lyssavirus

Lyssavirus

Lyssavirus is related to the rabies virus. Thankfully Lyssavirus is a rare disease in Australia and only three human deaths have been recorded since it was discovered in 1996. People can be infected by bites or scratches from infected flying foxes or bats. There are vaccines to prevent infection and treatment after exposure can also be effective. It is important to seek treatment promptly if you have had contact with bats.

If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water, apply an antiseptic and get immediate medical help.

References used for this topic page

More information:

ACT Health
Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus infection

Better Health Channel
Lyssavirus

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Qld)
Australian Bat Lyssavirus overview

SA Health
Rabies and Australian Bat Lyssavirus – symptoms, treatment and prevention

Clinical care:

Department of Health (Aust)
Rabies Virus and Other Lyssavirus (Including Australian Bat Lyssavirus) Exposures and Infections

NSW Health
Rabies and other lyssavirus infections

Victorian Health Department
Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus

Research & reviews:

Department of Health (Aust)
Rabies Virus and Other Lyssavirus (Including Australian Bat Lyssavirus) Exposures and Infections

NSW Public Health Bulletin
Australian Bat Lyssavirus: examination of post-exposure treatment in NSW [PDF 132kb]

Science Direct – Virology
Sequence analysis of an isolate from a fatal human infection of Australian bat lyssavirus

Fast facts:

Lyssavirus

  • Lyssavirus is closely related to the rabies virus.
  • Infections are rare in Australia.
  • The virus can be transmitted to humans by bites or scratches from infected bats.
  • If bitten by a bat or flying fox, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Apply antiseptic to the area and seek medical help.

 

Last updated: 28th November, 2016