AS temperatures soar across the region, a Hunter New England Health physician is urging people not to approach heat-affected bats.
Professor David Durrheim said a number of people had been bitten or scratched by young flying foxes that had fallen to the ground in previous heat waves.
Professor Durrheim said people should call WIRES, who had trained and vaccinated staff, rather than handle the bats themselves. He said all species of Australian fruit bats could be infected with the lyssavirus, which was closely related to rabies and could be fatal.
“Young flying foxes can drop to the ground, but I would urge people to be very cautious,” he said.