Kilgore College students to take rabies shot series after handling diseased bat

Kilgore College students to take rabies shot series after handling diseased bat
(Source: KLTV Staff)

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - A message from Kilgore College Police Chief Heath Cariker:

On Thursday, March 22, a juvenile bat was found by students on the Kilgore campus in the vicinity of the Fine Arts Building. The students handled the bat before Kilgore Animal Control arrived to take it. Animal Control sent the bat to a laboratory for testing, and today KCPD was informed that the result came back positive for rabies. The students who had contact with the bat are now going to have to take a series of rabies vaccine injections.

Please be aware of animals on our campuses, especially wild animals. It is unusual for nocturnal animals such as bats to be moving about during the daytime, and if you should see one call KCPD immediately. If an animal appears to be acting as if it is sick, it most likely IS sick. DO NOT TOUCH THE ANIMAL.

Rabies is usually spread through an animal bite. Animals most likely to spread rabies in the U.S. include bats, coyotes, foxes, skunks, and raccoons. Symptoms of rabies include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. Seek immediate medical attention after a bite or suspected bite. There is no specific treatment for rabies. Once symptoms appear, it's nearly always fatal. A vaccine can prevent infection.

Err on the side of caution and report any incidents involving bites or contact with a wild animal. For more information on rabies, go to www.cdc.gov/rabies. Stay safe and be aware.