POSTED: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 6:27pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 7:02pm
Longview, TX (KETK) — The Texas Department of State Health has confirmed a bat captured in Longview has tested positive for rabies.
The bat was caught at the Hidden Hills Apartments around midnight on Tuesday and was taken for testing on Wednesday. It is believed that no residents of the complex were exposed to the bat.
Although this is the first positive rabies case in Longview since 2007, city officials have recently warned residents that there is a reoccurring bat problem in the downtown  area.
"It is possible that the bat entered the apartment through a door that was left open for some period of time that evening. 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,” 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 any 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.