A horror show ... animals like bats are renown to magnify the spread of disease.

Animals like bats are renown to magnify the spread of disease. Photo: Andrew Taylor

People are being warned not to handle injured or heat-stressed bats because their scratches and bites may pass on a deadly virus.

NSW Health's warning about the Lyssavirus follows reports that large numbers of bats have died in the recent hot weather and bushfires.

The department says there have been two reports of bat bites in the Nowra area. People bitten or scratched by bats should thoroughly clean the wound, apply antiseptic and seek urgent medical advice, he said. AAP