THE BAT INTEREST GROUP
OF KWA ZULU NATAL
Copyright (C) 2011 Bat Interest Group of KwaZulu Natal All Rights Reserved
Copyright Paul Buchel
Lyssaviruses are so-called rabies-related viruses. In South Africa two lyssaviruses have been associated with bats
Lagos Bat Virus
is found at very low levels (less than one case a year) in the population of Whalberg's epaulletted fruit bats, and there have two cases of the disease in cats.
To date there has been no evidence of Lagos Bat Virus infecting people. Any fruit bat that dies for no obvious reason should be handed to a vet with a request that the bat be tested for Lagos. If the bat should test positive then it is recommended that a course of post exposure rabies shots be administered to anyone who had contact with the bat.
is closely related to Lagos virus and has caused the death of two people in the North West Provice of South Africa (1970 and 2006). In both cases the patients had been either bitten or scratched by an insectivorous bat some time before the disease manifested itself.
Always be careful not to get bitten when handling any wild animal, including bats. Use thick gloves or a cloth to handle bats and do not allow children to stroke or handle any grounded bat.
Anyone that is bitten by
wild or stray animal should immediately scrub the wound with soap and water and go within 24 hours to their nearest clinic to start a course of post-exposure rabies vaccinations. These vaccinations are free at State clinics.
082 445 0585
Living With Bats
Bats of KZN
Fleas and Ticks