Public should avoid wild animals and vaccinate family pets.
Texas state health officials recently reported the occurrence of a rabid raccoon case in north western Travis County. The rabid raccoon was in the Sandy Creek Ranches area. This is the second case of a wild animal with rabies with in a five mile area in the last two months.
Because of these recent events, residents in north western Travis County should be aware of the situation and protect themselves by avoiding wild animals and vaccinating family pets. Residents should call 3-1-1 if they see a wild animal that is acting strangely or if the animal has been in contact with a person. Bats, skunks, coyotes, foxes and raccoons 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 animal control by calling 3-1-1.
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. This is why it is critical to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal. For additional information contact: Austin Public Health's Disease Surveillance Program: 512-972-5555