(Longview, TX) A bat captured in Longview has tested positive for rabies, as confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) today. The bat was captured at an apartment residence at Hidden Hills Apartments near midnight on Tuesday evening and was shipped for testing on Wednesday. It is not believed that the any residents had exposure to the bat. Only one bat was found at the residence.
This is the first positive rabies case in the City of Longview since 2007. "It is possible that the bat entered the apartment through a door that was left open for some period of time that evening. We believe this was an isolated incident at the apartment complex; however, we are working closely with the management of the apartment complex to take all precautionary measures and inform the other residents," said the Environmental Health Farrar, Buck Farrar.
Farrar also reminds citizens to always refrain from touching wild animals, especially those that appear sick or injured. In the Longview area, bats, skunks, and raccoons are the most common carriers of the rabies virus, but caution should be used with any wild animal. Household pets should also have current rabies vaccinations in case the animals come in contact with wildlife.
If someone encounters a bat or other wild animal, please contact the Environmental Health Department at 903-237-1285. If the event occurs at night or during a weekend, please contact the Longview Police Department non-emergency number at 903-237-1199.