Australian bat lyssavirus

Tony Merritt, Kathryn Taylor, Keren Cox-Witton, Hume Field, Kate Wingett, Diana Mendez, Michelle Power, David Durrheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background

Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) causes human illness that is indistinguishable from classical rabies. All Australian bats have the potential to carry and transmit ABLV, and potentially risky human exposures to bats are common. ABLV infection has resulted in three human deaths in Australia since 1996.

Objective

The aim of this article is to equip general practitioners (GPs) to assist in the prevention and management of potential ABLV exposures in Australia, including complex clinical scenarios that are not fully addressed in current national guidelines.

Discussion

Potential ABLV exposures are frequently encountered in general practice. GPs play a critical role in risk mitigation for groups such as veterinarians and wildlife carers, and in triggering urgent multidisciplinary responses to potential exposures. Timely notification of the public health unit following a potential exposure is crucial to ensure appropriate assessment and access to correct treatment. Complex exposure scenarios require careful consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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