A student who found and handled the bat has been notified, and the appropriate precautionary procedures are being implemented by the Texas Department of State Health Services, LeTourneau University, and the student. The Environmental Health Department also reminds citizens to always refrain from touching wild animals, especially those that appear sick or injured. In the Longview area, bats, skunks, and raccoons are the most common carriers of the rabies virus, but caution should be used with any wild animal. Household pets should also have current rabies vaccinations in case the animals come in contact with wildlife. If someone encounters a bat or other wild animal, please contact the Environmental Health Department at 903-237-1285. If the event occurs at night or during a weekend, please contact the Longview Police Department non-emergency number at 903-237-1199. Helpful Information about Bats: Bats flying overhead do not pose a risk for transmitting rabies. Rabies is transmitted when an infected bat bites or scratches a person’s skin. Never handle a bat. If a person is scratched or bitten by a bat, the Environmental Health Department advises that the exposed person begin treatment to prevent rabies as soon as possible.
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