MEDINA COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is investigating a case of rabies after a child was bitten by a bat in Medina County.
The child is currently receiving care in a hospital, according to a press release by DSHS.
The last human case of rabies in a Texas resident occurred in 2009, per the release.
Rabies is a viral illness that spreads through the bite of an infected animal, the release said. The virus may also be transmitted through saliva if it enters the eyes, nose, mouth or a break in the skin.
According to the release, once someone becomes sick with rabies, it is almost always fatal. The illness is preventable with treatment is administered before the onset of symptoms.
DSHS offers several tips to 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.