McHenry County Reports Two More Rabid Bats
McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) confirms its 2nd and 3rd rabid bat – one in Fox River Grove on April 29th and the other in Woodstock on May 4th. There was no exposure in either case.
It is strongly recommended that residents not release a bat but contain it in a room, under a bucket or blanket (using gloves as a barrier). In order to test bats for rabies, it is important they be in good condition – either alive or recently deceased. Specimens that are in good condition and test negative for rabies eliminates the need for rabies treatment. McHenry County Animal Control should be contacted immediately (815-459-6222).
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system and can only be confirmed in a laboratory. The best way to avoid rabies is to avoid exposure. Residents are encouraged to take a “hands off” approach to wild animals to reduce their risk of exposure.
Parents also need to educate their children of the dangers. Keeping dogs and cats up to date on their vaccinations is a good way to protect them from rabies. A bat that is active by day, found in a place where bats are not usually seen (such as in your home, in a swimming pool or on the lawn) or is unable to fly, is more likely than others to be rabid.
McHenry County led the State in 2008 with rabid bats (23); bats reported statewide totaled 103. In 2007, Illinois recorded its highest number of rabid bats (113), with McHenry County reporting 13.