Health Officials on Lookout for Woman Exposed to Rabies

Health Officials on Lookout for Woman Exposed to Rabies

According to a press release from the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, officials are hoping to find a local woman who they believe was exposed to rabies last weekend.

Described as a five-foot-four-inch-tall twentysomething singer-songwriter and recent Florida transplant with shoulder-length brown hair and a name that "may begin with the letter 'L'," the woman was witnessed handling a bat while canoeing at Lady Bird Lake "on or about" last Sunday, July 13. The bat was later captured and found to have rabies, so the woman may be infected without knowing it.

According to the press release, "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 the saliva, brain, or nervous system tissue of a potentially rabid animal."

Even if she does have rabies, she might not show symptoms (which range from fever and headache to "confusion, sleepiness, or agitation") for one to three months after infection – by which point it may be too late for her to get help. According to the press release, "Once someone with rabies infection starts having these symptoms, that person usually does not survive."

If you think you might know the young woman – or if you are her – please notify health officials via any of the following numbers:

- 512/972-5555 (Austin/Travis County HHSD Surveillance Unit)
- 311 (Austin/Travis County HHSD Animal Services)
- 512/972-6007 (Town Lake Animal Center Rabies Clerk)
- 254/778-6744 (DSHS Zoonosis Control)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Nora Ankrum
Public Education Under Fire
Public Education Under Fire
New doc Starving the Beast uncovers ideological clash

March 11, 2016

Forward Compatible
Forward Compatible
Silicon Cowboys details how Compaq took down IBM

March 11, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

bat, rabies, health and human services, Lady Bird Lake

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle