Bats and health risks


Bats can pose a health risk to humans and animals. If you or your pet has been bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed, you should seek assistance. If you notice multiple deaths or unusual symptoms in bats you should call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Bats are thought to be the natural hosts and/or involved in the transmission of a range of infectious diseases around the world, including Nipah virus, Ebola virus, rabies and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

While Australian bats do not carry these diseases, several other viruses thought to be unique to Australia do occur in the Australian bat population.

As humans move into bat environments and bats adapt to sharing man-made environments, the opportunities for transmission of these infections increase.


Factsheet 1069 Fourth Edition

Published: Dec 2019