Potential exposure to Australian bat lyssavirus in South East Queensland: what has changed in 12 years?
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Public health measures have been targeting potential exposure to Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) since the first recognised human cases, more than a decade ago. The effect of these measures on the epidemiology of notifications of potential exposure has not been investigated since 2003. Trends in notifications of potential exposure to ABLV reported to the Brisbane Southside Public Health Unit between November 1996 and October 2008 were examined. During the study period notification rates declined among all population groups and potential exposures were notified more promptly. The proportion of female notifications and the proportion of notifications from volunteer bat carers and their families and professional groups decreased over time. These changes over 12 years may indicate success of public health measures, under-reporting of potential exposure or both. Intentional handling of bats by untrained members of the public continues to be an important source of potential exposure to ABLV and requires a sustained public health response.
Communicable Diseases Intelligence
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Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified