Department of State Health Services
June 20, 2006
Reported Animal Rabies Cases in 2006
Two cases of rabies have been reported in the region since the last update on June 7. A rabid bat was reported in Lubbock on June 16 and a rabid cat from Ochiltree County was reported on June 19. The bat bit a person who was handling it. The cat was a non-vaccinated animal that had a fight with a skunk in May. The family quarantined it at home, but it apparently did not receive any post-exposure vaccinations. One person is receiving prophylaxis due to the bat, while 6 people (4 family members, a veterinarian and a veterinary technician) are being treated due to the cat.
Please continue to encourage the public to be sure their animals are current on their rabies vaccination. We also recommend that horses and other livestock, such as 4-H or FFA project animals, be vaccinated against rabies. Vaccination of livestock may be done by the owner, who may legally purchase rabies vaccine for that purpose from a veterinarian with whom there is an established veterinarian/client relationship. Dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian.
The rabid bat in Lubbock County is our first reported bat for the year. In 2005, we had already had 3 rabid bats reported by this date. Last year was our most active year in recent times for rabid bats with a total of 7 reported. Please be aware that bats and rabies are highly associated. Bats are ecologically important and are protected species, so colonies should not be destroyed. However, due to their ability to transmit rabies, we do not advocate handling bats or encouraging their habitation of a building occupied by humans. If a bat bites someone, it must be tested, and if found to be infected with rabies, the person who was bitten must undergo immediate post-exposure treatment in order to prevent death. If a bat is present in a room with people and a bite cannnot be ruled out, testing should be done. If the bat cannot be tested negative for rabies, anyone who may have been bitten should receive treatment. Situations that warrant this cosideration include children sleeping in a room where a bat is found, or the presence of a bat in a room with an intoxicated or other mentally impaired person.
2006 Animal Rabies Statistics for HSR 1:
||3 skunks; 1 cat
If you are a veterinarian, employee of a veterinary clinic, or an animal control officer, and have not received the pre-exposure series, please give it some serious thought.
Map of 2006 Rabies Cases in HSR1
(to January 2006, PDF 30k)
If you have comments or suggestions please contact us.