A brown bat found April 30 in Waterview Park Phase 3 complex recently was tested positive for rabies, according to Waterview officials.
Letters were sent to residents warning a rabid bat had been found and advising them to keep pets inside.
“We didn’t know about the incident until (May 3). We worked with animal control by sending letters out to Waterview residents,” said Katie Bonner, Waterview area manager.
The bat was sent to the Department of Health in Austin where it was tested, said Dennis Wooten of Richardson Animal Control.
On average, one to two people nationwide die of rabies each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those deaths are usually attributed to the victims’ failure to seek medical attention after being exposed to rabies.
There is no cure for rabies after the symptoms appear – which may include insomnia, headache, fever and eventually fear of water in humans – but a vaccination can be administered after exposure.
Pet owners are advised to keep their animal’s vaccinations current. Animals that come in contact with another unvaccinated rabid animals could be put to death or kept in solitary confinement for six months, according to the CDC.
“It isn’t unusual to find a bat with rabies. The rabies virus is mostly inactive in bats,” Wooten said. “We were mostly worried that since it was found in an apartment complex someone’s pet or some other animal would pick it up.”