Matt Jackson

Rabid Bat Found at Fort Worth Water Gardens

The Tarrant County Public Health Department has confirmed that a bat found at the Fort Worth Water Gardens has tested positive for rabies.

The bat was found in the water at the gardens on July 15.

Anyone who may have come in contact with the bat is urged to call the Animal Control department at 817-392-1234.

The health department reminds people that rabies exposure occurs only when a person is bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, or when abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes are contaminated with saliva, brain, or nervous system tissue of a potentially rabid animal. Touching such an animal, or contact with its urine or feces does not constitute an exposure.

Some other reminders from the health department are below:

Bats will generally leave a building on their own, given the chance, but if you find a bat in a room, do not try to catch it (unless testing is necessary because a person or pet has been sleeping in the room while the bat was present).

To encourage a bat to leave on its own, open windows, turn the lights on and leave the room, closing the door behind you and keeping children and pets out of the area.

Check the area every few hours to see if the bat has departed-it may take up to 18 hours for a bat to leave a resting place.

If you MUST remove a resting bat from a room immediately (because there is no way to avoid contact with people or pets), put on thick leather gloves and carefully place a wide-mouthed cup, jar, or coffee can over the resting bat, slip a piece of cardboard between the opening and the resting surface, then take the container outdoors to release the bat.

Never handle a bat, alive or dead, with your bare hands.

Keep people and pets away from a sick or injured bat and call animal control.

Dead bats no longer pose a threat of rabies if they are not handled.

If the bat is in an area where it may have come in contact with a person or pet, call your city's animal control agency.

If someone is bitten by a bat, call animal control immediately to report the incident, and administer first aid to the victim.

If safely possible, confine or try to keep track of the bat until animal control arrives to capture it for testing.

Animal control will need the name, address, and phone number of the victim and the victim's personal physician; address where the incident occurred; and information on how and where the person was bitten.

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