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Public Health Notice: Rabies Confirmed in Gillespie County

A case of rabies has been confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services in Gillespie County. This event has generated many questions and concerns in our community.

As a part of our commitment to the community, Hill Country Memorial works to educate our residents in matters of public health. Education is our best defense against rabies.

On July 11 the Fredericksburg Police Department and Animal Control were notified that a 13-month old black crossbreed dog tested positive for rabies.

From the Fredericksburg Standard: During the Fourth of July parade, the dog was reportedly wearing a pink collar with a purple leash. The owner and dog were in the 300 block of West Main Street. Following the parade, the owner and dog ate lunch at Hondo’s in the outdoor seating area. The owner reported that they did not walk anywhere else on Main Street during or after the parade and lunch.

If you came into contact with this animal, you may have been exposed. Be aware that there are three types of contact concerning rabies, as follows:

Category I: touching or feeding animals, licks on the skin

Category II: an animal nibbles uncovered skin, minor scratches or abrasions without bleeding, licks on broken skin

Category III: single or multiple bites or scratches that break through the skin, contamination of mucous membrane (primarily your mouth or nose) with saliva from licks; exposure to bat bites or scratches

Given the typical incubation period for rabies in humans, this is an urgent (but not necessarily emergent) situation.

Treatment depends on the type of contact you have with a potentially infected animal.

Per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines:
• Category I contact does not require treatment.
• Category II contact requires immediate vaccination.
• Category III requires immediate vaccination and administration of rabies immune globulin are recommended in addition to immediate washing and flushing of all bite wounds and scratches.

If you are concerned about exposure and the potential for infection, we encourage you to get evaluated by your physician or at our Immediate Care Clinics in Fredericksburg and Llano.

As a full-service health care organization, Hill Country Memorial maintains access to rabies vaccinations. If it is determined that you need a rabies vaccination, we are ready and available to care for you.

For more information, call the HCM Immediate Care Clinic in Fredericksburg at (830) 992-2820.

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