August 13, 2009
Public health officials in Texas are asking anyone who may have come in contact with a certain horse at the Scurry County Rodeo, held in mid-July in Snyder, to contact a doctor or call the Texas Department of State Health Services at (512) 458-7255 to determine if they need to receive treatment to prevent rabies.
More than 250 contestants from Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas participated in the rodeo.
The horse was at the rodeo July 16-18. It became ill July 28, died July 30 and tested positive for rabies on Aug. 5. The horse was not in any rodeo ceremonies or events and was in a stall the entire time. Officials say it is highly unlikely, but possible, that the horse was capable of transmitting the rabies virus while at the rodeo arena.
But they also say they are taking no chances because rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms develop.
The horse stood 14 hands tall and was a 6-year-old sorrel quarter horse mare with white rear stockings and a white star on her forehead. The horse was in the fourth stall from the south end of a row of stalls on the west side of the arena grounds in a parking area reserved for contestants. Adjoining stalls were empty. The arena is on Gary Brewer Road in Snyder.
Health officials say transmission could have occurred if the horse bit anyone or if saliva from the horse got in an open wound or cut or in the eyes or nose of a person.
A diagram of the rodeo arena is available at: www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/ScurryCountyRodeo.pdf
(News Media Contact: Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, 512-458-7524.)