Res­i­dents warned to steer clear of bats dur­ing heat­wave

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

BUR­NETT res­i­dents who come across dis­tressed bats dur­ing the cur­rent heat­wave are be­ing ad­vised by the Wide Bay Pub­lic Health Unit not to touch them.

Bats, like all other wildlife, are vul­ner­a­ble to heat­wave con­di­tions and res­i­dents may come across bats that ap­pear dis­tressed or dead.

Wide Bay Pub­lic Health Unit physi­cian Dr Mar­garet Young said if res­i­dents came across dis­tressed or dead bats they should con­tact a qual­i­fied wildlife carer to tend to them.

“Peo­ple should never touch bats un­less they are trained and vac­ci­nated wildlife car­ers, even if the bat ap­pears to be dead,” Dr Young said.

“Bats that ap­pear dead of­ten are not dead and will bite or scratch peo­ple if touched.

“It is im­por­tant that you do not touch the bat as their bite or scratch, which can go through tow­els and gloves, can trans­fer dis­eases such as Aus­tralian Bat lyssavirus, which is closely re­lated to ra­bies.”

Dr Young said bats that were clearly dead should be placed in a bin or buried us­ing a shovel.

“Do not touch the bat as there is a claw on the wing which can cause in­jury,” she said.

Any­one who is bit­ten or scratched should wash the wound for at least five min­utes us­ing soap and wa­ter, then seek im­me­di­ate med­i­cal ad­vice.

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