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Bats Gone Wild: Congress Street Bridge Bat Found with Rabies

Caleb Bryant-Miller/KUT News
Austinites and tourists watch bats take off in droves from the Congress Street Bridge at sunset.

Thinking about watching thebats on Congress Street Bridge the evening?

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Service Department released information today that a bat from under the Congress Street Bridge has tested positive for rabies.

Carole Barasch is with the Health and Human Service Department. She says it isn’t unusual to find a bat with rabies – problems arise when these bats come into contact with humans. The Health and Human Service Department is on alert because it's received wordfrom a third party that an adult female came into contact with a rabid bat at 10:15 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3.

Health and Human Services is working to identify the woman, as rabies can be fatal if untreated. “It may take several weeks or longer for people to show symptoms after being infected with rabies,” Health and Human Services reports. “The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation.”

The Health and Human Services Department is asking anyone with information on the incident to contact them, urging Austinites  bitten by wild animal to immediately contact their health care providers in case treatment is called for.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the woman in question was bitten by a rapid bat; instead, she came into contact with a downed bat. 

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