Thursday, October 23, 2014

Australian Bat Lyssavirus in the Northern Territory and Cat Protection releases information in Chinese

Take care when handling bats (and use gloves to minimise scratches)
The Chief Veterinary Officer of the Northern Territory, Dr Malcolm Anderson, announced that Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABL) was detected in a fruit bat in Katherine in September last month.

It is only the second time ABL has been detected in the Territory (the first time was in 1997), although it is considered endemic throughout the Australian bat population. In Australia there have been three reported cases of ABL in humans, all fatal. Two cases have been reported in horses.

He reminded everyone that anyone handling or caring for bats should be vaccinated prior to exposure, and if you are scratched or bitten wash the wound thoroughly for at least FIVE MINUTES with soap and running water. Medical attention should then be sought immediately.

In the event that bat saliva contacts your mucous membranes (ie eyes, mouth, nose) flush the area with water and seek attention.

Anyone with this sort of contact should seek attention, whether vaccinated or not.

Finally, if the bat or bat’s body can be contained without putting yourself in further danger, put this in a box and contact the Centre for Disease Control or Department of Health in your area as the bat can be tested.

Further information is available here.

Meanwhile the Cat Protection Society of New South Wales has released an information sheet, in Chinese, about cat welfare and the benefits of desexing.
The project is the result of collaboration with University of Sydney Medica and Communications students Jiaying Zhou, Yunfei Qian and Xiaoqing Feng, and veterinarian Dr Eva Tang.

You can view and download the sheet here.