Health Advisory: Dog in northeast Collin County tests positive for rabies

Collin County health and animal control authorities are advising area residents that a dog that wandered into an Easter weekend event in northeastern Collin County has tested positive for rabies by the Texas Department of State Health Services laboratory in Austin.

The dog, a male black-and-white heeler mix, may have come in contact with a number of people near County Roads 1201 and 1100, just outside of the town of Blue Ridge. The dog may have exposed people and other animals to the rabies virus from March 27 through April 7.

Anyone who came into contact with the rabid dog should contact their primary care physician or go to their nearest hospital emergency room so a health care provider can determine whether they should receive treatment.

Rabies is a viral illness that can be transmitted to humans through an infected animal’s saliva. The illness can be prevented with treatment before symptoms begin. However, once a person has symptoms, the disease is almost always fatal, if left untreated. Animal contact, such as bites or scratches or contact with saliva, may lead to exposure to rabies. Humans who have been bitten or scratched by a rabid animal must have a series of shots to prevent becoming infected with rabies. Infected animals can transmit the rabies virus prior to the onset of symptoms. Rabies is always fatal if left untreated.

Vaccination of all cats and dogs is required by state law and is the first line of defense against human infection. We urge every cat and dog owner to have all of their animals vaccinated and to keep vaccinations up to date. Please see your veterinarian for more information on rabies vaccination for your pets.

Healthcare providers may contact the Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control office at 817-264-4920.