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Bat tests positive for rabies at Longview apartment complex

Bat tests positive for rabies at Longview apartment complex
MGN
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POSTED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 3:13pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 5:25pm

A bat captured in Longview has tested positive for rabies, as confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) today. The bat was captured at an apartment residence at Penwood Apartments on Thursday, July 24. It is not believed that any residents had exposure to the bat.

This is the first positive rabies case in the City of Longview this year. “We believe this was an isolated incident at the apartment complex; however, we are working closely with the management of the apartment complex to take all precautionary measures and inform the other residents. The apartment complex has hired a company that specializes in bat removal, and they have temporarily relocated the residents of the apartment unit involved,” said the Environmental Health Farrar, Buck Farrar.

Farrar also reminds citizens to always refrain from touching wild animals, especially those that appear sick or injured. In the Longview area, bats, skunks, and raccoons are the most common carriers of the rabies virus, but caution should be used with any wild animal. Household pets should also have current rabies vaccinations in case the animals come in contact with wildlife.

If someone encounters a bat or other wild animal, please contact the Environmental Health Department at 903-237-1285. If the event occurs at night or during a weekend, please contact the Longview Police Department non-emergency number at 903-237-1199.

Helpful Information about Bats:

  • Bats flying overhead do not pose a risk for transmitting rabies. Rabies is transmitted when an infected bat bites or scratches a person’s skin.
  • Never handle a bat.
  • If a person is scratched or bitten by a bat, the Environmental Health Department advises that the exposed person begin treatment to prevent rabies as soon as possible.
  • Residents are encouraged to periodically check attics and other quiet structures around the home. If bat roosts are discovered, pest control companies may assist with removal.
  • Vaccinate your pets to protect them against rabies.

Call the City of Longview Environmental Health Department if you encounter a bat or other wild animal around your home or place of business. 

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