Public’s Help Needed to Find Child Possibly Exposed to Rabies

AUSTIN, March 3, 2015 - The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking the public to help identify a child who may have been exposed to a rabid dog at a park in Austin.

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is looking for an elementary school-aged boy with pale skin who visited Zilker Park’s off leash dog park during the dog’s infectious period on Feb. 8, 2015, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The boy was observed playing fetch for approximately 15 minutes with a black and white Border Collie mix. The child was accompanied by two Caucasian women. The three appeared to be speaking a language other than Spanish or English. It’s unclear if they are residents of Austin.

Anyone who comes in contact with a rabid animal should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Rabies is a viral illness that can be transmitted to humans through an infected animal’s saliva. The illness can be prevented with treatment before symptoms begin. However, once a person has symptoms, the disease is almost always fatal.

Anyone with information on this possible rabies exposure or who can identify the boy should contact the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department at 512-972-5555. More information on the possible Austin exposure is available at www.austintexas.gov/news/possible-child-exposed-rabies.

For general rabies information or concerns, people should contact their local health department or DSHS regional office. DSHS reminds people to avoid contact with wild animals and have pets vaccinated against rabies as required by law. Anyone bitten by an animal should:

  • Quickly and thoroughly wash the bite with soap and water, rinse it well, and put an antiseptic on it to kill germs.
  • Report the bite to animal control so the animal may be placed in rabies observation or submitted for rabies testing.
  • See a doctor as soon as possible so the doctor can decide if vaccinations to prevent rabies are needed.

 

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