Bayou City

Rabid Bat Bites Woman in Parking Garage Near Buffalo Bayou Park

We hope this bat is not rabid, too.
We hope this bat is not rabid, too. Mark Evans/Flickr
Parking garages don't need any more reasons to be eerie, but one Houston woman just added getting bit by a bat to the list.

While she was walking in her apartment's sub-level parking garage along Memorial Drive near Buffalo Bayou Park, a woman says, a rabid bat bit her on the hand, KHOU reported.

"It was about the size of a frog, and I felt it hit my hand, and I flung it away,” Katie Koenig told KHOU.

After snapping some pics of the bat, Koenig said, she called the Houston Fire Department, which trapped the bat in a coffee can and had it tested for rabies.

The next day, Koenig told the news station she got the call: The bat was, indeed, rabid — which meant that Koenig immediately had to start getting rabies treatment. Koenig, who said she didn't have health insurance, said the treatment cost $4,000.

Asked about the frequency of bat bites, Houston Health Department spokesman Porfirio Villarreal told the Houston Press, "Human contact with bats is rare. Most years we don't do any human/bat investigations. Last year 11 bats that we tested came back rabies-positive. This year so far we have had seven."

In any case, perhaps it's a good idea to think twice before heading to the Waugh bridge at Allen Parkway to marvel at the hundreds of bats that take off at dusk — or at least be extra vigilant.
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn