McHenry County Leads State in Rabid Bats – 17

I don’t hear chants of

“We’re number one!”

arising from the latest distinction, but those people who want to

“Get the kitties!”

are undoubtedly thinking about licensing cats again.

The following press release is from the McHenry County Public Health Department:

County leads State in rabid bats – 17

Woodstock IL – Two residents from Woodstock have begun receiving treatment for rabies exposure after they awoke to find a bat in their bedroom; it later tested positive for rabies.

This is the 17th rabid bat reported this year, according to the McHenry County Department of Health, matching the total recorded in all of 2009.

Bats are unusually active this time of year as they’re in the middle of their breeding season. The most recent data from the State Health Department’s website (8-13-10) shows 68 rabid bats reported state-wide.

The County saw the highest number of rabid bats in 2008 with 23.

Last year, rabid bats were reported locally as late as November.

You can’t tell by looking at a bat if it’s rabid.

However, 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 likely rabid.

If you find a bat, don’t release it; keep it contained in a room, under a bucket or blanket and call McHenry County Animal Control (815-459-6222).

Keely cat wasn't too worried about the report of rabid bats in McHenry County. He didn't even get up to go looking for the dreaded McHenry County Republican Cat Tax Collector.

Bats must be in good condition in order to test it for rabies – either alive or recently deceased. Specimens that are in good condition and test negative for rabies eliminates the need for rabies treatment.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals; it can only be confirmed in a laboratory. The best way to avoid rabies is to avoid exposure.

Pet owners are reminded to keep their animals’ rabies vaccinations up-to-date.

Teach children to never approach or handle wild animals to reduce their risk of exposure.

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