April 8, 2011
Texas Department of State Health
Services officials say that people who attended horse shows in Belton and Lufkin last month may
have been exposed to a horse that tested positive for rabies.
The shows were attended by roughly
150 people from Texas, Indiana,
While risk of transmission to humans appears to be low, DSHS is attempting to
contact show attendees about possible exposures. Rabies is a viral illness that
is almost always fatal once symptoms develop.
The horse participated in events at
the following two shows during its infectious period:
- March 19-21, American Southwest Texas Cutting Horse Association show,
- March 25-27, Lufkin Cutting Horse Association show, Lufkin
Health officials are urging people
who believe they have been exposed to the rabid horse to contact their health
care provider or DSHS at (512) 458-7455 to determine if preventive treatment is
The horse was a 7-year-old bay
quarter horse gelding with a faint star on its forehead. During the events, the
horse was ridden and fed only by its owners and trainers and was stabled in a
barn at each site.
Illness was first noticed in the
horse March 31. It died April 4 and tested positive for rabies April 6.
People can be infected with the
rabies virus if they are bitten or if the infected animal’s saliva gets in an
open wound or cut or in the eyes, nose or mouth of a person. A series of
post-exposure shots, if given in time, can prevent rabies from developing.
(News Media: Carrie Williams, Press Officer, 512-458-7119 or 512-965-7198)
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