Texas child receiving treatment for rare human case of rabies, DSHS says

Texas

MEDINA COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A child in Medina County, Texas, is receiving treatment due to a rare human case of rabies, the Texas Department of State Health Services said on Friday.

The child was bitten by a bat, DSHS says. The child is receiving care in a Texas hospital. The last human case of rabies in Texas was back in 2009.

Medina County is located just west of Bexar County.

DSHS said it has contacted anyone who may have been exposed to the bat or rabies patient directly. Those who were contacted will be assessed for the need for a post-exposure vaccination to prevent getting sick with rabies.

Rabies is a viral illness that spreads from the bite of an infected animal, DSHS said. Once a human becomes sick with rabies, it is almost always fatal.

In Texas, skunks and bats account for the most animal rabies cases, but any mammal can be infected.

DSHS said there are a number of things people can do to help stop the spread of rabies:

  • Never approach wild animals
  • If bitten or scratched by a bat or any other animal, wash the wound immediately with soap and water. Then, seek medical attention to be assessed for potential rabies exposure
  • Ensure domestic dogs and cats are up to date on rabies vaccination, as required by state law
  • Consider protecting livestock and domestic ferrets by vaccinating them

No other details about the child’s case were released.

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