November 30, 2006
A woman who discovered a rabid bat crawling on her ankle in a Uvalde movie theater may undergo post-exposure preventive treatment, and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) officials are trying to determine if other theater patrons were exposed.
The incident occurred in The Forum 4 Theaters on U.S. Highway 90 East in Uvalde on Nov. 25. The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies. Theater management reports that a pest management company has been hired to check for additional bats, remove any that are found and seal any openings where bats could enter.
No other exposures in the theater have been reported.
Anyone who has come in direct contact with a bat should contact a doctor or call DSHS' regional office in San Antonio at (210) 949-2074 to see if a series of preventive shots is needed.
The rabies virus most often is transmitted to humans through animal bites, but transmission can occur in other ways that allow the saliva of an infected animal to get inside the body of a person, such as through open cuts, scratches or wounds or through mucous membranes in the mouth, eyes or nose.
Post-exposure shots can keep rabies from developing if given in time. Once symptoms of rabies occur in humans, rabies is almost always fatal.
Uvalde is about 80 miles southwest of San Antonio.
(News Media: for more information contact Doug McBride, DSHS Press Officer, Austin, 512-458-7524.)