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2014-08-14

Public's help sought in rabies investigation

Contributed

Medical administrators with the Texas Department of State Health Services are appealing to the public to help identify a woman who may have been exposed to rabies in Round Rock.
The Williamson County and Cities Health District is looking for a woman who was came into contact with a bat while leaving the Wal-Mart on East Palm Valley Boulevard at about 9:15 pm, Wednesday, August 6. She is described as white, possibly in her 20s and wearing shorts, flip-flops and a blue shirt.
Contact with a bat presents a high risk of rabies, a viral illness that can be transmitted to humans through an infected animal's saliva. The illness can be prevented with treatment before symptoms begin. However, once a person has symptoms, the disease is almost always fatal.
More information on the possible Round Rock exposure is available at www.wcchd.org.
Anyone with information on this possible rabies exposure should contact the Williamson County and Cities Health District at 512-200-3778. For general rabies information or concerns, people should contact their local health department or DSHS regional office.
DSHS reminds people to avoid contact with wild animals and have pets vaccinated against rabies as required by law. If someone is bitten by an animal, they should:
• Quickly and thoroughly wash the bite with soap and water, rinse it well and apply an antiseptic to kill germs.
• Report the bite to animal control so the animal may be placed in rabies observation or submitted for rabies testing.
• See a doctor as soon as possible to allow the physician to decide if vaccinations to prevent rabies are warranted.