Rabid Bat Found Nearby. How Much Do You Know about Rabies?
A bat that tested positive for rabies was discovered at Oak Park School in Aurora earlier this week. The bat was found outside the building by a custodian early in the morning before school. There was no human exposure.
Bats are the most common carrier of rabies in Illinois. Five bats testing positive were found in Kane County last year. Six were found in 2009, nine in 2008, five in 2007, and one in 2006.
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 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.