A bat that tested positive for rabies was found in the Inglewood neighborhood near Lucy Park in Wichita Falls.
The bat was picked up from a veterinarian after a resident found their dog playing with the bat. The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed the bat had the virus. The dog that came in contact with the bat will be kept in isolation for a period of time as required by state law.
In a news release, the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District encouraged residents to increase their awareness of rabies and take steps to protect themselves and their animals.
This is the second positive case in 2023, the first case was a skunk found in January.
"Any exposure to wild animals, alive or dead, in particular, bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes (which are the top five carriers of the virus in Texas) should be avoided," the health district warned.
Rabies is preventable by:
Ensuring all pets current on their rabies vaccinations, as required by Texas law.
Livestock owners are also encouraged to vaccinate horses and other livestock.
Not allowing pets roam free.
Staying away from all wild animals and unknown dogs and cats.
Not feeding or watering pets outside to avoid attracting wild and stray animals.
The Animal Services Department urges anyone who observes a wild or domestic animal appearing sick, fearless, aggressive, or displaying other unusual behavior to call 940-761-7824. Anyone bitten or scratched by a wild animal should contact a doctor or the health district.
This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: Rabies-positive bat found in Wichita Falls neighborhood