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What is rabies?

Page last updated 06 January 2022

Rabies is an infection caused by a virus of the Lyssavirus family.

It infects the central nervous system and is almost always fatal. The early infection starts with flu-like symptoms, and rapidly progress to altered behaviours, coma, and death. Rabies is not found in Australia, however, it is still present in many areas of the world. In Australia, there have been a few reported deaths of a rabies-like virus contracted from bats.


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Sources & Citations

1. NSW Government Department of Health, Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus infection fact sheet. Available at: (accessed 07 December 2021).

5. World Health Organization. Rabies. Available at: (accessed 07 December 2021).


MAT-AU-2102482  Date of preparation January 2022