Two cases of being bitten or scratched by bats potentially carrying a deadly disease were reported in the past 12 months in western NSW.
A similar encounter ultimately killed an eight-year-old boy in Queensland earlier this year because his parents - like many others - did not know the danger.
The slow and cruel death of his son prompted Colin Boucher to speak about the deadly bat-borne lyssavirus, a close relative of the common rabies virus.
His warning was supported by a rabies expert who said handling flying foxes - a bat species native to Australia - was like "playing Russian roulette".
The message is relevant south of the border, as shown by records kept by the Western NSW Local Health District.
Population Health acting director Lyndal O'Leary reported there had been two bat bite or scratch incidents in the health district in the 12 months to October 1.
In the past three years there had been a total of 11 incidents.
The acting director said the data did not indicate a positive case of lyssavirus infection, only that it has been reported and appropriate public health action taken.
The people who suffered the 11 incidents in western NSW spoke up about their injuries.
Tragically the eight-year-old from Queensland did not, although his father was shocked to realise he would not have known what to do anyway.
Mr Boucher and Lincoln's mum, Michelle Flynn, were not aware lyssavirus existed until it was killing their son.
"If we had known, we could have saved him," Mr Boucher said.
"Lincoln's passing should not be in vain - this should not happen to anyone else."
Lincoln was just the third Australian known to die from the virus.
Despite the deaths, rabies expert Dr Deb Mills said there were still many misconceptions about the lyssavirus.
Dr Mills said three of the four flying fox species give birth from October to November and that foraging mothers were often injured on powerlines and fences.
"To help is to go and call a bat carer, not to try to help yourself," she said.
"It's like playing Russian roulette if you handle these animals."