State Health Services urges precautions to avoid rabies exposure
The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging precautions to reduce the risk of contracting rabies. According to a July 26 State Health Services press release, there has been a higher-than-usual number of animal rabies cases in Texas this year, particularly in Central Texas and the North Texas region. Protect yourself by avoiding wild animals and animals acting strangely, and by vaccinating your family pets.
The Central Texas region is seeing a marked increase in animal rabies cases, particularly in skunks. For the first six months of this year, there were 268 rabies cases compared to 109 during the same time frame last year (January to June 30, 2010). Similarly, the North Texas region is seeing an increase, with 151 cases in the first half of 2011 compared with 81 cases in the first half of last year.
The state is seeing an overall increase in animal rabies cases as well. For the first six months of this year, there were 591 animal rabies cases compared to 387 cases for the first six months of 2010.
Bats and skunks are the most common animals found to have rabies in Texas. People can be exposed to rabies by an animal bite or scratch that breaks the skin or if an open wound comes in direct contact with an infected animal’s saliva. People also can be exposed if the saliva from a rabid animal gets in a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
The most effective ways to prevent exposure to rabies are:
•Avoid feeding, touching, or adopting wild animals, such as bats, skunks, raccoons, and foxes.
•Report suspicious animals to local animal control.
•Vaccinate your family pets or livestock against rabies.
•If you are bitten or if saliva from a suspected rabid animal comes in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound, wash the exposure site and seek medical attention immediately.
Rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms occur. However, a series of post-exposure shots can prevent rabies if given in time.
For more information, visit www.dshs.state.tx.us.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Breaking News Archives
Rainfall report for April 20-26 (April 27, 2015)
Vote for Allison Mitchell, national finalist (April 27, 2015)
Flood warning issued for the San Antonio River (April 25, 2015)
Flash flood watch until 5 a.m. (April 24, 2015)
Team-roping event rescheduled (April 24, 2015)
Gov. Abbott Challenges Federal EPA On Proposed Regional Haze Regulations (April 22, 2015)
Severe thunderstorm warning: Atascosa County (April 22, 2015)
U.S. 181 closed near Karnes City (April 22, 2015)
Rainfall reports (April 20, 2015)
Baptist Health and MD Anderson finalize agreement (April 17, 2015)
Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 7 p.m. (April 17, 2015)
U.S. 181 at Falls City, Hobson open (April 17, 2015)
UPDATE: Urban and small-stream flood advisory until 7 p.m. (April 17, 2015)
Construction slowing traffic on U.S. 181 south (April 16, 2015)
Win a balloon ride! (April 16, 2015)
Senate Passes Parent Empowerment Bill (April 15, 2015)
Unofficial rainfall reports: April 6-13 (April 13, 2015)
Texas to recover $25 Million, U.S. Medicaid Program (April 8, 2015)
$7,500 Reward Offered for Most Wanted Fugitive From El Paso (April 7, 2015)
UPDATE: Officials release ID of man killed in crash on U.S. 181 (April 2, 2015)
Man dies in crash near Pandora (April 1, 2015)