Health officials say child may have been exposed to rabid dog at Zilker Park

Officials with the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department said Wednesday that a child may have been exposed to a rabid dog reported at Zilker Park February 8th.They are asking the public's help to find the child.

He is being described as blond, pale, and around elementary school age.

According to authorities he visited Zilker Park on February 8th during the time frame of 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.

The boy was observed playing fetch for approximately 15 minutes with a black and white Border Collie mix. The Border Collie mix is the same confirmed rabid dog referenced yesterday in a media release. The child was accompanied by two Caucasian women. None of the three spoke English.

Rabies exposure occurs only when a person is bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, or when abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes are contaminated with the saliva, brain, or nervous system tissue of a potentially rabid animal.

It may take several weeks or longer for people to show symptoms after being infected with rabies. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with a rabies infection has the advanced symptoms, that person usually does not survive. This is why it is critical to talk to your doctor or health care provider right away if any animal bites you, especially a wild animal.

For more information contact:

Austin/Travis County Health and Human Service's Disease Surveillance Program:

512-972-5555

DSHS HSR7 Zoonosis Program:

254-778-6744

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