According to WIRES Northern Rivers media release:
“Large areas of the North Coast of NSW as well as South East Queensland are experiencing what appears to be a severe flying-fox starvation and dehydration event. It is thought that the unusually dry conditions have affected flowering and fruiting of their usual feed trees. Moisture content on foliage is currently very low, fruit and flowers also lack the normal amount of moisture and this is where bats get their nutrition and hydration.”
Bats and flying foxes can carry infections such as lyssavirus which can be potentially lethal to humans but there is no risk if you do not handle the bat. It is important that anyone who finds a sick or injured bat should not touch the bat but should contact WIRES on 6628 1898 for wildlife assistance. If a bite or a scratch does happen to occur, the area should be cleaned, antiseptic applied and the person should see a doctor urgently.
The local Public Health Unit has issued a warning and can be contacted on 1300 066 055 for information but not for urgent medical treatment.