Health Alert: Rabies Confirmed in Lubbock Bat, Domestic Cat Exposed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/1/04

Health Alert: Rabies Confirmed in Lubbock Bat, Domestic Cat Exposed

The City of Lubbock Health Department received confirmation from the Texas Department of State Health Services, formerly the Texas Department of Health (TDH), that a bat tested positive for rabies. A neighborhood cat found and played with the bat.

This is the first positive bat in 2004, and the first bat confirmed for rabies since 2002. A skunk in Lubbock county tested positive for rabies in June 2003.

This alert is being issued to increase public awareness:

  • Prevention is key to protecting pets and family members.
  • Pet owners are reminded to vaccinate their pets against rabies. Rabies occurs in a variety of wild animals, including bats, skunks, raccoons, and other mammals, and can spread to domestic animals such as dogs and cats from contact with the saliva, bite or scratch of the rabid animal.
  • Unvaccinated pets, can transmit rabies to their owners.
  • Rabies is most often transmitted by bites, but transmission can occur in other ways that allow the saliva from an infected animal to enter a person's bloodstream such as from a lick to a person's face or to fresh wounds or broken skin. Transmission also can occur if a person kisses the infected animal on its face or lips.
  • A series of post-exposure shots, if given in time, can prevent rabies from developing. Once symptoms develop, rabies is almost always fatal.
  • City and county residents are urged to increase awareness of wild animals on their property, and any wild animal contact with pets, and to report ill or oddly behaving animals to animal control immediately for instructions on proper disposal and disposition of the animal or carcass.
  • There have been no human cases reported in Lubbock county.

For more information, contact Animal Control at (806) 775-2712 , or call your veterinarian.

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