(El Paso, TX) Tuesday, Septermber 8, 2008. -- Health Officials are warning people to protect themselves and their pets from rabies after finding eight rabid bats since the beginning of the year.
The bats which tested positive for rabies were found in highly populated areas of El Paso County.
According to state health officials, the last case was confirmed at the beginning of this month.
Dr. Raymond Bader, County Extension Director of Agri LIFE EXTENSION from the Texas A&M System, reminds the public to avoid contact with bats that typically become more active during this time of year.
“It is best never to approach a bat and, if found in a home or building, people should contact the local public health department for assistance with removing it.”
Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. Humans get rabies after being bit by an infected animal or if infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, gets directly into their eyes, nose, mouth or a wound.
Without anti-rabies treatment, rabies is a fatal disease. A bat that is active during the day, found in a place where bats are not usually seen (such as in a home or on the lawn), or is unable to fly is more likely than others to be rabid. Such bats are often easily approached but should never be handled. “Teach children to stay away from bats on the ground and to let an adult know if they see a bat. If you find a bat on the ground, don’t touch it,” Bader concluded.
For addionatl information for rabies prevention you may contact Dr. Raymond Bader at (915)851-2515