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Three previously unknown viruses have been recently described in flying-foxes. Hendra virus, Menangle virus and Australian bat lyssavirus (ABL) are regarded as emerging diseases of potential importance to both animal and public health. While there is no evidence that Hendra or Menangle virus infections are transmitted directly to humans, direct contact with an ABL-infected flying-foxes presents a serious human health risk from a saliva-contaminated bite, scratch or mucous membrane. Fruit is not regarded as a mode of transmission, but for aesthetic and general hygiene reasons, eating fruit that has been damaged or partially eaten by any animal is not recommended.

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