WOODSTOCK – A rabid bat July 13 in a Cary home was the area’s second reported rabid bat of the season, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.
The homeowners contained the bat in a room and immediately called Animal Control at 815-459-6222.
To test bats for rabies, it is important that they be in good condition with the head intact – either alive or recently deceased. Bats that test negative for rabies eliminate the need for humans to undergo rabies treatment after exposure.
Statewide, 17 rabid bats have been reported in 14 counties. Last year, McHenry County led the state with 22 rabid bats; statewide, the total was 117.
The best way to avoid rabies is to avoid exposure. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system and can be confirmed only in a laboratory.
Keeping cats and dogs up to date with vaccinations will not only keep them from getting rabies, but also provide a barrier of protection for residents if their animal is bitten by a rabid animal.
A bat that is active by day, found in a place where bats are not usually seen (such as in a home, in a swimming pool or on the lawn) or is unable to fly, is more likely than others to be rabid.
To learn more about rabies prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/. Questions about exposure should be directed to the health department’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500.