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Health Officials Worried About Possible Rabies Exposure

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Austin Public Health is hoping to locate several people who recently came in contact with a bat that has since tested positive for rabies. The bat was retrieved from the sidewalk outside the Austin Convention Center near 4th and Red River Streets about 4:30pm on August 2nd.  Officials say multiple women were seen picking up a bat from the sidewalk and handling it while trying to give it water.  They then placed the bat in a tree and the bat fell out again on the ground.  The bat was then covered with a cone until it was collected by Animal Protection.

 

Anyone who may haev handled or had direct contact with this bat is being asked to contact the Disease Surveillance Program at 512-972-5555 for more information.

 

Rabies exposure occurs only when a person is bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, or when abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes are contaminated with the saliva, brain, or nervous system tissue of a potentially rabid animal.

 

It may take several weeks or longer for people to show symptoms after being infected with rabies. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with a rabies infection starts having these symptoms, that person usually does not survive. That’s why it’s critical to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.

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