Released by the Northeast Texas Public Health District:
TYLER, TX - On Friday, October 16, 2009 the Texas Department of State Health Services advised Northeast Texas Public Health District that two (2) bats submitted for analysis tested positive for rabies. The bats were found in the 2100 block of W. Shaw St. and 1600 block of Hollycreek Dr, Tyler, Texas. 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.
These are the eighteenth and nineteenth (18th & 19th) laboratory confirmed cases of rabies in Smith County. These are the ninth and tenth bats found in the City of Tyler and nine (9) bats have been reported in Smith County this year.
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.