Rabid bat found in Smith County

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Released by the Northeast Texas Health District:

A rabid bat has been reported in Smith County. On Wednesday, September 16, 2009 the Texas Department of State Health Service advised Northeast Texas Public Health District that a bat submitted for analysis tested positive for rabies. The bat was found in the 200 block of Fairlawn, Hide-a-way TX. 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 fourteenth (14th) laboratory confirmed case of rabies in Smith County. This makes the eighth (8th) bat found in Smith County and six (6) have been reported in the City of Tyler.

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.