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McHenry County Department of Health: Rabid bat found in Crystal Lake

WOODSTOCK – A rabid bat was found last week outside a Crystal Lake house, according to the McHenry County Department of Health.

A homeowner discovered the bat Sept. 11 and removed it with a shovel and plastic bag. A dog who lived in the house potentially was exposed, and no human exposure was reported, the health department said in a news release.

Keeping pets vaccinated will prevent them from getting rabies if exposed, according to the health department. Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system. Symptoms of rabid bats in particular include daytime activity, presence in a place bats usually are not seen or the inability to fly, according to the health department.

People should not touch bats directly. Bats that are inside a home should be contained to a single room. If the bat is outside and possibly has interacted with pets or humans – or if it’s injured – place a bucket over it and call Animal Control at 815-459-6222, according to the health department.

Statewide, 46 rabid bats have been reported in 2017, with 43 of them having been found in northeastern Illinois, according to the health department.

Call MCDH’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500 with any questions. To learn more about rabies prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

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