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Posted on: November 8, 2019

Avoid Bats to Protect Yourself from Rabies

So far in 2019, the Health Department has submitted 39 bats to the Illinois Department of Public Health for testing, of which three tested positive for rabies (two in Antioch, one in Highland Park). Bats are commonly encountered during the fall because of their migration and search for winter quarters in places like attics. Bats are generally not a threat and are highly beneficial animals as they feed exclusively on insects. However, they can carry the rabies virus which can be fatal to humans and animals. Do not touch bats or attempt to remove them from your home. Report bats to Animal Care and Control by calling (847) 377-4700. Do not feed, touch, or adopt wild animals or stray dogs and cats. Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, even if they appear friendly. Contact the Health Department if you encounter sick or injured wildlife as well as wildlife within your home. Vaccinate your pets and do not allow them to roam free. If bitten by a rabid bat, pets may develop rabies and present a risk to humans. Contact your veterinarian to schedule a vaccination appointment. Safeguard your home. Bats can enter existing holes as small as 3/4 inch in diameter. Cover and seal possible access routes, especially around chimneys, vents, doors, windows, and plumbing. Seek immediate medical attention if you have been bitten or exposed to a bat.

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