Rabies Confirmed in Smith County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/10/02 - Tyler

Rabies Confirmed in Smith County

A warning for Smith County residents. For the fourth straight year, rabies has been confirmed in the county.

The latest case was discovered near Lake Tyler. A woman discovered a dead bat in her back yard on Southpoint Road. The bat was sent to Austin, and was confirmed to have died from rabies.

This is the first rabies case in Smith county this year. Last year, ths Smith County Public Health District reported three cases of rabies. Two bats were found in Tyler, one on the square, and a second off Rhones Quarter Road. And a rabid skunk was discovered in the northwestern portion of the county near New Harmony.

Brenda Elrod with the Smith Co. Public Health District says if you run across a wild animal, the best thing to do is to not touch it. "If they bite you, or bite your family pet and your family pet bites you or scratches you and that saliva enters your blood stream, you could very well come down with rabies. The thing about rabies is once you start showing symptoms, there's no going back. You're dead."  

Elrod says wild animals, especially bats, raccoons, and coyotes are the most likely carriers of rabies.

If your pets' rabies vaccines are not current, you should get them in to see the vet as soon as posible. If you or anyone in your family has come into contact with the rabies virus, make sure you see your doctor right away.

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