Australian police authorities have sent out a public alert asking two teenagers, who handed over a sick bat to the Kippa-Ring Police Beat, to come forward after the bat was found to be carrying Australian bat lyssavirus.
The authorities found out about the virus when the bat scratched an officer and physicians at Metro North Public Health Unit confirmed that the bat was indeed carrying the virus. The Australian bat lyssavirus can be transmitted from bats to humans and can cause paralysis, delirium, convulsions and death.
The health authorities are now searching the teens, a boy aged 14 years and a girl aged 16, who anonymously handed over the bat to the police in order to make sure that they were not scratched or bitten by the bat.
"We need to get in touch with these teenagers immediately to ascertain if they were bitten or scratched by the bat or if anyone else was exposed. It is best to start treatment within the first 48 hours after being bitten or scratched or having exposure to bat saliva. If anyone else may have had contact with this bat they should phone Public Health or visit their GP or emergency department as soon as possible", Metro North Public Health Unit public health physician Catherine Quagliotto said.