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Rabies is caused by infection with the rabies virus, or other viruses in the lyssavirus family including Australian bat lyssavirus.  Rabies is usually acquired from a bite or scratch from an infected animal.  It can also be contracted from contact with broken skin, or through organ transplantation.

You may be at risk of contracting rabies or other lyssaviruses if you handle bats in Australia or overseas. You may also be at risk if you have contact with some wild or domestic mammals such as dogs, cats, and monkeys in a country outside of Australia where there is an increased risk of rabies.

You should ensure you do not pat or play with animals when you are overseas in an area where rabies is known to occur.  Avoid contact with stray animals including cats and dogs.

Speak to your doctor if you are travelling to a country where there is a rabies virus risk.  You may benefit from vaccination.

If you are bitten or scratched by a bat or mammal including cat or dog, you should:

  • Wash the wound thoroughly with water and soap if available
  • Apply an antiseptic
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible

Follow the links below to find trusted information about rabies.

Last reviewed: October 2016

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Found 32 results

Rabies and lyssavirus

Rabies virus and Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) belong to a group of viruses called lyssaviruses.

Read more on WA Health website


Read more on Queensland Health website

Rabies: information for travellers -

Rabies is a viral disease spread by bites from infected animals, such as dogs and monkeys. If not treated quickly, rabies is often fatal.

Read more on myDr website

Rabies | myVMC

Rabies is a viral disease of the central nervous system (CNS); it is one of the oldest and most feared diseases reported in medical literature

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Rabies and Australian Bat Lyssavirus Infection

Lyssaviruses are a group of viruses that includes rabies and bat lyssavirus. Lyssavirus is carried by bats in Australia. Rabies is carried by mammals in many overseas countries. Both are spread by bites and scratches. These diseases can be prevented by rapid and thorough cleaning of the wound and by vaccination. There is no cure.

Read more on NSW Health website

Merieux Inactivated Rabies Vaccine Injection -

Merieux Inactivated Rabies Vaccine Injection - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

Read more on myDr – Consumer Medicine Information website

Lyssavirus - Farmer Health | Farmer Health

Lyssavirus is related to the rabies virus. Thankfully is a rare infection in Australia and only three human deaths have been recorded since it was discovered in 1996. People can be infected by bites or scratches from infected flying foxes...

Read more on The National Centre for Farmer Health website

Rabipur Powder for injection -

Rabipur Powder for injection - Consumer Medicines Information leaflets of prescription and over-the-counter medicines

Read more on myDr – Consumer Medicine Information website

Australian Bat Lyssavirus

Read more on Queensland Health website

Risks to your health when overseas

If you are travelling overseas you should prepared and understand the health risks you could face in the places you are travelling to and take all reasonable measures to prevent illness.

Read more on WA Health website

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