(NEWS.com.au) — A Cairns boy is fighting for his life in a Brisbane hospital after being bitten by a bat carrying the rare but deadly lyssavirus.

Doctors believe the boy was attacked by a bat while on holiday in the Whitsundays two months ago, but only started to show symptoms of the rabies-like disease with fits, fever, and brain inflammation three weeks ago.

His devastated family are holding a bedside vigil, with the boy still in a coma and critical condition in intensive care.

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