Child, 9, bitten by rabid skunk in north Fort Worth

04/29/2014 4:52 PM

04/29/2014 4:52 PM

A 9-year-old boy is being treated for rabies after a rabid skunk bit him over the weekend in far north Fort Worth.

“As far as we know now, he is doing well,” said Brandon Bennett, city director of code compliance. “This is just a waiting game right now. They continue to give him the series of shots and we are hoping for a very positive outcome.”

The child was immediately taken for treatment, Bennett said, and the testing on the skunk was expedited by the city and the state. The test came back positive Tuesday, he said.

The skunk approached and bit the boy while he was in his garage in the daytime, Bennett said. Animals infected with rabies tend to appear friendly with humans, so the incident is a classic example, Bennett said.

Fort Worth Animal Care and Control officers are canvassing the residential area in the 76244 ZIP code, which includes parts of Keller Haslet Road, Old Denton Road and North Tarrant Parkway.

“There is always the potential that this skunk contracted it because it met with other wildlife or transferred it to other wildlife,” Bennett said, urging residents to avoid any free-roaming animals acting strange and to keep pet vaccinations up to date.

A female corgi and her litter of puppies in Parker County had to be put down after the dog tested positive for rabies in February.

The family reported that the dog had brought a skunk carcass to the residence off Farm Road 1189 in the Lipan area. Officials said they believed the skunk was the source of the disease.

The rabies virus infects the central nervous system and ultimately kills the victim unless a series of shots is administered. In the United States, human fatalities from rabies result from failure to seek medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For information, residents can contact the city call center at 817-392-1234.

This report includes information from the Star-Telegram archives .

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