Rabies Alert Ends; Mom Talks About Son’s Rabies Shots

November 29, 2009

A three month rabies alert is still underway in North Escambia, with several residents faced with a series of rabies shots after being bit or scratched by a rabid or possibly rabid animal.

We spoke to one Walnut Hill family with a child that was forced to endure the rabies shots last year after their then four-year old was bitten by a bat.

lukerabies10.jpgLuke Bridges, 5, underwent the series of rabies shots during the summer of 2008. Luke walked up on the family’s porch in Walnut Hill where he was bitten by a brown bat, according to his mother Somer Bridges.

“To him, it was not that serious,” Bridges said. “He  thought he was going to be Bat Boy just like on Scooby Doo.” But it was different for Somer and her husband Ted.

“I was just horrified,” she said. “I was very alarmed.”

The family went to the Sacred Heart Hospital emergency room. Over the next few weeks, Luke received the rabies shots under the supervision of the Escambia County Health Department.

“The health department really does pay a lot of attention to these kinds of cases,” Bridges said. “They were helpful during the entire process.”

While Luke suffered no ill side effects from the bat bite or rabies shots, Bridges said, it was a trying time that she would not want any family to endure.

“I would not wish this on any parent or child,” she said.

rabiesalert.jpgThe original North Escambia rabies alert this year was issued at the end of August after one person was bit by a rabid fox and two raccoons that bit dogs tested positive for rabies.  Then three more rabid animals were found in North Escambia, prompting the health department to extend the rabies alert until November 29. The alert has since been extended until January 26, 2010.

The Escambia County Health Department received laboratory-confirmation of rabies in a skunk and two raccoons. The skunk and raccoons were sent for testing after interacting with pets and, in one case, a pet owner. These positive tests are in addition to the rabid animals that prompted the August alert.

Then in late October,  six more people — including at least one animal control worker — were exposed to rabies following an incident with a rabid cat in the McDavid area.

The Escambia County Health Department confirmed the incident occurred, but they would not confirm the location of the incident, citing concerns that identifying the community would violate health privacy laws. But NorthEscambia.com learned the incident occurred near McDavid.

According to a source familiar with the incident, a woman was bitten outside her home. She retreated inside her house and called for help from a neighbor because she feared going back outdoors where the cat remained. We are told that four or five people total were bitten or scratched by the animal. Some those attacked by the cat were attempting to trap the cat. Health department officials would confirm that an animal control worker called to the scene was also “exposed” to rabies.


One Response to “Rabies Alert Ends; Mom Talks About Son’s Rabies Shots”

  1. D on December 2nd, 2009 5:40 pm

    wow.That i wish that nobody meets up with a rabid animal like that and gets bitten.

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