Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News
Lewisville is warning residents about rabies after a man riding his bike home when a skunk attacked him, he beat it down with his hands and covered it with a jacket, then went looking for help.
Officials in Lewisville are urging residents to take precautions against rabies after a person was infected with the virus last week.
The city said a person was bitten several times by a skunk near Edmonds Lane and Bellaire Drive. The man was riding his bicycle home when the animal jumped on his leg. The man swatted the skunk away, but not before the animal bit him three times.
City officials say the man was a refugee from Myanmar and thought the skunk was actually a cat. He covered the animal in a jacket and took it to a nearby fire station.
The animal was later tested and found to be positive for rabies.
Laura Wise of Lewisville Animals Services said the man is being treated with several rounds of shots.
"If he hadn't notified somebody somehow, and he'd been bitten, I hate to say this, but he wouldn't have survived another three to four months," Wise said.
Now, the city of Lewisville and Denton County are urging residents to take precautions by avoiding contact with wild animals, dead or alive, and by making sure they keep family pets vaccinated against the virus.
Three skunks have been trapped near the location where the man was bitten and will be tested.
Lewisville ISD officials also said at least two schools near where the man was bitten plan to send home letters Thursday to alert parents about the incident.
Additionally, people should keep a close eye on their pets to be sure they don't come in contact with wild animals that may be infected.
In 2011, Denton County had 25 positive rabies cases. Already in 2012, nine cases have been reported.