GALVESTON — News that a Houston teenager had been bitten by a shark on a West End beach quickly spread yesterday, as the picture of teeth marks on 14-year-old Mikaela Medina’s back drew clicks from around the Internet.

The bite wasn’t reported to the Galveston Island Beach Patrol when it happened, but city officials say there’s no reason to worry about the incident.

Sharks are a matter of fact in Galveston Bay. While they’re not generally considered a threat, beachgoers should avoid swimming near schools of fish or getting into the water with open wound. 

Shark attacks on the Texas Gulf Coast are rare. According to the International Shark Attack File, a record of unprovoked shark attacks kept by the Florida Museum of Natural History, there have been 38 unprovoked shark attacks in Texas since 1911 (not including this week’s reported incident.)

Only two of those attacks have ever been fatal. The last fatal shark attack was in 1962.

Galveston leads the way in Texas shark attacks with 15. The location with the greatest number of unprovoked shark attacks in U.S. history is Volusia County, Fla. — the home county of Daytona Beach — where there have been 257 recorded shark attacks since 1882.

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