By Shirley Newman
The Hartley County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed one case of rabies in Hartley. After a puppy bit a Hartley man, it was later tested and confirmed to be rabid. Approximately four or five other victims, including two children, had been exposed, requiring all of them to receive rabies shots.
Hartley County Sheriff Franky Scott and the staff at Dalhart Animal Hospital would like to remind and encourage everyone that it is imperative to have your pets vaccinated against rabies. They also want the public to be aware of other stray animals, including skunks, acting in an unusual manner.
Rabies is extremely devastating to the human body if treatment is not started right away. According to Wikipedia, after a human is infected, the virus enters the peripheral nervous system. It then travels along the nerves towards the central nervous system. During this phase, the virus cannot be easily detected within the host, and vaccination may still confer cell-mediated immunity to prevent symptomatic rabies. Once the virus reaches the brain, it rapidly causes encephalitis. This is called the “prodromal” phase. At this time, treatment is useless. Then symptoms appear. Rabies may also inflame the spinal cord producing myelitis.