MGISD Press Release Reference San Antonio Stock Show Rabies Case

March 2, 2020 – The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a possible rabies exposure notice on February 29, 2020. The notice was referencing a Miller Grove FFA show heifer that had been in San Antonio from February 11-14, 2020.

After returning to the heifer’s home barn, the animal started showing symptoms of a possible respiratory infection and was treated by a local veterinarian.

After four days of not responding to treatment, the animal was taken to the veterinarian’s office. The doctor continued treating the animal and kept it for observation. The animal passed away on February 22, 2020.

Dr. Brent Moore, Texas Department of State Health Services in Tyler, Texas contacted the District on February 27, 2020. Dr. Moore stated that one of the show heifers from Miller Grove FFA had tested positive for rabies and the State was investigating the location and contacts with the animal from January 29, 2020 through February 22, 2020. He said the animal was shown in San Antonio on February 11-14, 2020. Dr. Moore stated that the handlers of the animal were urged to seek their health care providers and explain the situation.

The heifer had not traveled to any other location besides San Antonio, the home barn and the veterinarian between January 29, 2020 and February 22, 2020. Dr. Moore stated that rabies in cattle was extremely rare and usually was the result of a bite from an infected mammal. For more information, please contact the DSHS Region 4 office in Tyler at (903) 533-5260.


Steve Johnson Superintendent

From the Texas Department of State Health Services

From the Texas Department of State Health Services

March 1, 2020 – AUSTIN Texas (News Release) – The Texas Department of State Health Services is notifying people who visited the cattle barn at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Feb. 11-14 that they may need to be assessed for a possible rabies exposure. A cow in the cattle barn developed rabies and was capable of spreading the virus that causes it during those dates. The solid black cow, a Brangus heifer, was being shown by a student from the Miller Grove ISO in Hopkins County.

The cow was only outside of the barn while being shown and loaded and unloaded for transport. Public health officials have been in contact with the people who were caring for the cow and the animals in nearby stalls, so their risk can be assessed.

Rabies is spread through the saliva of infected animals. Anyone who put their hand in the cow’s mouth or nose or had contact between the animal’s saliva and an open wound or mucous membrane like the eyes, nose or mouth should be evaluated for a rabies exposure. Someone in that situation should contact their health care provider as soon as possible and explain the situation. People who didn’t have that kind of contact with the cow are not at risk of contracting the disease.

Rabies can be prevented if treatment is started before symptoms begin, however, once symptoms start, it’s almost always fatal. It usually takes between three weeks and three months for someone exposed to rabies to get sick.

Bexar County residents who visited the cattle barn on those dates and have questions may contact the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District at 210-207-8876. People who live elsewhere may contact their DSHS regional Zoonosis Control office. A map of the fairgrounds and the cattle barn with the location of the stall marked in red is available at this link.

Link to printed press release (PDF)