Sky News Australia — Deadly bat lyssavirus detected in NT

Northern Territory residents and visitors are being warned not to handle bats after a flying fox tested positive to the deadly Australian bat lyssavirus.

This is the second bat to test positive in a matter of months and only the third case for the Northern Territory since the first was detected in 1997.

Found Australia-wide, the virus is very similar to rabies, and symptoms include severe headaches and convulsions, before it paralyses breathing and causes a fatal brain inflammation.

All three people who have contracted the virus, in Queensland, have died.

The infected flying fox was under the care of a bat carer when it became sick and died, said Malcolm Anderson, the NT’s chief veterinary officer.

‘The disease, like rabies, can have a very long incubation period, so it can be in an animal for a long time before they show signs … six months or 12 months,’ he said.

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Click HERE for the complete article.
http://www.skynews.com.au/news/local/darwin/2015/03/11/deadly-bat-lyssavirus-detected-in-nt.html

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