20 Aug 2014
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Will County Sets Record for Rabid Bats in One Year

The 12th case was discovered in Elwood and confirmed by the state this week, county health officials said.

Will County Sets Record for Rabid Bats in One Year

Will County's rabid bats certainly get around -- the record-setting 12th infected one for 2012 was found in Elwood.

Of the previous 11 rabid animal cases documented by the Will County Health Department this year, four were in Joliet, three in Plainfield, two in Manhattan and one each in Romeoville and Naperville.

The county's high water marked for confirmed rabies cases was 11 in 2007, a health department news release said.

The Elwood bat was trapped beneath a light pole ourside a residence and confirmed as being rabid Tuesday. No humans were exposed to the disease, and the two cats that live at the home are current on their rabies vaccinations, the release said.

Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that is almost fatal if post-exposure treatment doesn't occur quickly. Humans are most often exposed due to the bite or scratch of an infected warm-blooded animal, the release said.

Cooler temperatures typically diminish the incidence of rabies exposures resulting from contact with bats, but the public needs to remain vigilant, health officials said.

To report any contact with wildlife (especially bats) that might be rabid, contact an animal control authority as soon as possible. Will County Animal Control is available 24 hours daily at 815-462-5633.

Editor's note: Patch editor Karen Sorensen contributed to this report. 

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