Rabid bats found in Smith County

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Released by George T. Roberts, Jr. with the Northeast Texas Public Health District:

Three more rabid bats have been reported in Tyler and one more rabid bat in Smith County. On Monday August 24, 2009 the Texas Department of State Health Service advised Northeast Texas Public Health District that four (4) bats submitted for analysis tested positive for rabies. The bats were found in resident's yards in the 2400 Block of E Devine, 2600 Block S. Cameron, and 2800 Block McDonald Rd. in Tyler. The bat found in Smith County was in the 19000 Block CR 4108, Lindale. When a bat is still enough to be captured it is almost always sick or injured. It is critical not to touch the bat. The known individuals with possible exposure have been identified and addressed.

Citizens are advised not to handle bats, skunks, raccoons, or other wild animals. It is important for children to tell their parents of any contact with wild animals or any sick animals. Any one who knows of a person being bitten by an animal must report the bite incident to the Smith County Rabies Control Authority for proper investigation.

This is the twelfth (12th) laboratory confirmed case of rabies in our area. This makes the sixth (6th) bat found in Smith County and the sixth (6th) bat for the Tyler area.

Smith County Rabies Control Authority advises all citizens to confirm that their dogs and cats are currently vaccinated for rabies. City of Tyler Ordinance and Smith County Ordinance require annual rabies vaccinations for all dogs and cats. Preventive immunization for rabies is the only effective defense against this always fatal disease.

Anyone with questions on rabies control may contact City of Tyler Animal Control at 903-535-0045.