Harris County health officials have confirmed the rabies infection of a Houston-area teenager -- and said he was likely infected by a rabid bat.
The Humble High School sophomore is in critical condition at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston after showing symptoms last week. The Texas Department of State Health Services says in a news release that rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms occur.
Health officials believe the boy, whom officials haven't identified, was infected several weeks ago when a bat flew into his open bedroom window and bit him as he slept.
Meanwhile, school and health officials worked Wednesday to identify people exposed to the boy who may need preventive treatment. The treatment consists of a series of shots given in the arm as soon as possible after exposure may have occurred.
Humble school district spokeswoman Karen Collier said the boy's girlfriend is receiving preventive treatment.
The infection in the Houston suburb is the fourth human case of rabies in Texas since 2000 and the 43rd since 1950.