Two bats found in our area are confirmed to be positive for rabies. State health officials said the two cases were confirmed on March 24 and March 25. The second local resident who found one the rabid bats contacted us to spread the word.
Margie Williamson, of Devine, found the suspicious bat lying on her porch last week on CR 768 in the Devine Golf Course area.
“I was coming out of my house around dark when I saw something in the carport and when I scooped it up with a shovel its wings spread out and I realized it was still alive,” Williamson said. “I assume my puppy drug it up. I called the county, and then I called the vet’s office, and I eventually dropped it off at the lab on Military Drive. They instructed me to put it in a container such as a pickle jar and drop it off there. I just had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. Sure enough they called me this past Wednesday morning, and said yes it’s positive for rabies.”
“I just have that one puppy who hadn’t had the rabies vaccination yet, and my little grandson just happened to be out there playing with that puppy that day, playing tug of war etc, so that’s what really worries me the most. We are worried about him…..I know there was another Medina County resident who also took a bat in that tested positive for rabies, so people need to know and beware. Rabies is serious stuff—very deadly if you get it and it’s not treated right away,” Williamson adds.
Make sure to get your animals vaccinated.
DSHS Recommendations for Post exposure Rabies Prophylaxis in Cases Involving Possible Exposure to Bats
Although bats are fascinating animals, they are also high risk for spreading rabies. If you find an injured, sick, or dead bat, please do NOT touch it.
One of the primary concerns if a person has contact with a bat is the possibility of exposure to rabies. Bats have been increasingly implicated as wildlife reservoirs for variants of rabies virus that have been transmitted to humans. Bat bites are not always visible; therefore, any close contact with a bat’s mouth needs to be carefully evaluated for the need for prophylaxis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised the following recommendations in conjunction with current Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines:
In situations in which a bat is physically present and the person cannot exclude the possibility of a bite (e.g. if the person was sleeping or the bat was found in a room with a previously unattended child or mentally disabled or intoxicated person), post exposure treatment should be considered unless prompt testing of the bat has ruled out rabies infection.
It is especially important to educate children about avoiding contact with bats. For more information or educational materials pertaining to rabies, please contact your regional Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control office.