ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A woman has come forward about being bitten by a bat at a Round Rock Walmart, the second person to reportedly come into contact with a bat at that store — all as health officials continue their search for the unknown woman bitten by a bat there. Round Rock health officials say that as a result of last week’s media attention surrounding efforts to find the woman who was bitten by a bat in order to get her the precautionary medical attention for rabies, another woman is now being treated for rabies after she came in contact with a bat.
The 37-year-old called the Williamson County and Cities Health District a week ago to say she had two bite marks on her hand. She says she may have been bitten while swiping a bat away from her leg inside the store. She is now receiving a series of shots to treat the rabies virus.
Meanwhile, the search continues for the first unidentified woman, who officials say may have been bitten by a bat Aug. 6 around 9:15 p.m. while shopping at the Walmart at 4700 E. Palm Valley Blvd. Witnesses say she was in the beauty products aisle when the bat touched her foot, possibly putting her at risk for rabies. Health officials say the virus is almost always deadly without treatment.
Officials were unable to determine if the bat had rabies and are trying to track down the woman, who left the store before Animal Control officers got there. She is described as a white woman who is possibly in her 20s. She has brown or blond hair and wore shorts, flip flops, and a blue-colored shirt. She may also be a traveler who was passing through the area.
Getting checked out medically soon after these incidents is vital, so if anyone has information about the identity of the woman, please call WCCHD at 512-943-3660. For reporting after-hours, weekends, or holidays, call 512-864-8387.
Treatment with the vaccine is effective in preventing rabies if it is begun as early as possible and before any symptoms appear. Public health officials always urge anyone who has been bitten by an animal to contact a doctor or health care provider right away. Animal Control must also be notified. Round Rock Animal Control and County officials say if people ever have bats inside their homes or business, they should call Animal Control and never handle them.
It may take several weeks for people to show symptoms after being infected with rabies. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but can change quickly to confusion, sleepiness or agitation. Once someone with a rabies infection has the advanced symptoms, that person usually does not survive.
KXAN News received several Report It emails with customers concerned about the bat problem inside the store.
“We were shopping as any other store trip and we just saw bats flying around and it’s not the first time we had seen the bats,” said Chris Barnhill who shot cell phone video of bats flying inside the store. “Some of the bats were flying pretty low at eye level in some cases.”
His video shows bats swooping down over the aisle.
A Walmart spokesperson said on Friday that the colony, which had about a 100 bats, have been removed. The company said that area had also been sealed off so no other bats could get in. Walmart said its also reviewing surveillance cameras to confirm if the woman was bitten by a bat.