The Kane County Health Department reports a bat that tested positive for rabies was discovered in a yard in Batavia over the weekend. There was no human exposure.
This is the first rabies-positive bat the Health Department has seen this year. One was discovered last year in St. Charles, and one in 2011 in an Aurora school yard.
Bats are the most common carrier of rabies in Illinois.
The bad news is rabies affects the brain and will cause unnatural behavior in mammals. Children especially should be reminded to avoid contact with wild animals that are acting unusual, such as a bat that is outside in the day time or one that cannot fly. It is important to keep all pets—dogs, cats, ferrets, etc.—up-to-date with their rabies vaccinations. Not only does the vaccine protect the pet, it also serves as barrier of protection for people. Even indoor pets should be vaccinated, as illustrated by the fact that some of the bat cases are found indoors.
The good news is the last human case of rabies in Illinois was reported in 1954.
Information about exclusion — keeping bats from entering your home — can be found by logging on to the Illinois Department of Public Health Web site at http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcbats.htm. For information about a referral for capturing bats or for submitting specimens for testing, please call Kane County Animal Control at 630-232-3555.
SOURCE: Kane County Health Department