Risk of rabies from the dead - ATAGI Bulletin

27 Apr 2017

Evidence indicates that the rabies and the Australian bat lyssavirus can remain viable in a dead animal for several days. With a large number of bat deaths due to recent heatwaves there is a potential risk of transmission for those who have handled dead bats.

GPs may wish to note that the 2017 update of the Immunisation Handbook will include minor changes to the rabies chapter to reflect a risk assessment approach to rabies post-exposure prophylaxis after handling dead animals.

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