2.1 Health and first aid In Britain, bats rarely transmit diseases to man, but the death of a batworker from the rabies-related European Bat Lyssavirus (EBLV) in 2002 illustrates the need to take steps to avoid being bitten, as it must now be assumed that this virus is present in bats in the UK and this fatal disease can be contracted from a bat bite (see Box Advice on bats and rabies for details. In addition, it is always wise to take simple hygiene precautions when visiting bat roosts. Always cover any open cuts before entering bat roosts and wash your hands after handling bats or their droppings and before eating, smoking or drinking. Anyone working with animals or in dirty areas must ensure that their anti-tetanus immunisation is kept up to date. Visits to or, more especially, prolonged work in, some sorts of sites may carry a risk of disease. Tick-borne Lyme disease is unlikely to be a hazard to bat workers, but work in sites contaminated by sewage or rats carries a risk of leptospirosis (Weil’s disease. A small number of cavers have contracted this disease, indicating that there is a risk wherever there is contact with water. If you work in such sites, make sure you observe the hygiene precautions described above and report any influenza-like symptoms immediately to your doctor together with information about your work.