Flying Fox Health Information

There are many misconceptions about flying foxes and health.

ImageThe two health concerns related to flying foxes are Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) and Hendra virus.

These are easy to avoid.

ABLV: can be contracted from bites or scratches from flying foxes.

No touch means no risk.   

ImageHendra virus: can only be contracted from a horse that has caught it from a bat. Humans cannot catch Hendra directly from flying foxes. Regularly vaccinating horses protects both them and you from infection, and—depending on your provider—costs roughly the same as a shoeing.

What if …

Someone has been bitten or scratched by a bat?

Wash the wound thoroughly, apply antiseptic and seek immediate medical advice about receiving injections to protect you against ABLV.

I find a sick or injured bat?

Do not touch it. Call the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

I find a dead bat?

ABLV is unlikely to survive on the external surface of a dead bat for more than a few hours. Dead bats can be disposed of in your general waste bin. Use a shovel and suitable gloves to minimise the risk of accidental scratches. If you are uncomfortable with this task, call Council on 07 4761 5300 to assist.

Contracting any illness from a bat is rare. While ABLV and Hendra virus are the two main health concerns, bats can also carry other diseases. For more information about bats and health, call Queensland Health on 13 HEALTH (13 432 584) or go to:

Helpful information: