Cody Polinelli was scratched on the neck by a flying fox at Apex Park, Charters Towers.
Cody Polinelli was scratched on the neck by a flying fox at Apex Park, Charters Towers.

Flying fox scratches boy, 12,

A YOUNG boy was left fearing for his life after he was scratched by a flying fox at a park in Charters Towers.

Cody Polinelli, 12, was sitting at a bench at Apex Park with a friends on Boxing Day when a flying fox dropped from a nearby tree and scratched him on the neck, leaving five bloody marks.

He swatted the bat away before running to his friend's house, opposite the park.

"I was very scared when it happened," Cody said.

One of the friend's sisters put peroxide on Cody's neck before the friend's mum, a Charters Towers nurse, took him and his own mum Renee to hospital.

"He was panicking … his blood pressure was really high … he was really worried. He has always been terrified of them," said Cody's mum.

Cody Polinelli, 12, pictured with his mum Renee, was scratched multiple times by a bat in Charters Towers on Boxing Day.
Cody Polinelli, 12, pictured with his mum Renee, was scratched multiple times by a bat in Charters Towers on Boxing Day.


The Townsville Public Health Unit said the treatment protocol for previously unvaccinated people is rabies immuno-globulin and a course of rabies vaccine to prevent the Australian bat lyssavirus.

"Ideally, treatment should begin within 48 hours of exposure," Dr Julie Mudd said.

About 300 known potential exposures to ABL are reported in Queensland Cody received his first set of anti-rabies injections, a day after the incident at Townsville Hospital.

He received an initial seven injections, five to the neck and one to each arm.

He received another two injections since and is scheduled for the final jab on Thursday.

Ms Polinelli said her son was now even more terrified of flying foxes.

"They fly directly over our house … he won't even go outside at night," she said.

"I've gone to protests and marches … meetings at the RSL. I've seen the Mayor personally about it … I want them to be aware that our parks have been taken over by bats."

Katter's Australian Party Traeger MP Robbie Katter said the state government was dragging its heels and doing everything possible to avoid real action.

"Any relocation work seems to upset the environmentalists and the government runs scared," he said.

"They need to be held accountable to the risks to people's health … there is a lack of affirmative action."

Charters Towers is not the only North Queensland town faced with the problem, with Ingham facing a similar issue.

In Townsville in November hundreds of bats dropped from trees in parks around the city because of extreme temperatures.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch was contacted for comment.



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