New bat rabies virus detected in England

06 November 2018

Article: 52/4403

Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that an incidence of European Bat Lyssavirus-1 (EBLV-1), responsible for the majority of bat rabies cases reported in Europe, was confirmed for the first time in a dead serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) in the UK. The occurrence underlines the fact that although the risk of catching rabies from a bat is very low, all bats (whatever species) should be considered a potential risk of rabies. All bat bites, scratches or other exposures in the UK or abroad should be assessed by a health professional so that post-exposure treatment can be arranged if needed.

Health Protection Scotland (HPS), PHE, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) have produced a new leaflet for the public on rabies risk associated with bat contact. It provides advice on what to do if someone finds a bat, if a bat comes into their home or if their pet catches a bat, as well as steps to take if they have had contact with a bat.

The leaflet is available on our website and on fitfortravel

Source: PHE, 2 November 2018