Will County health officials said a third rabid bat has been reported. A woman in Crete was reportedly attacked by a bat and sustained two bite injuries.
The woman was cleaning a swimming pool at a residence in Crete when a bat bit her on the neck and hand. While trying to protect herself from the attack, the women injured the bat and it fell to the ground.
“The woman called our office because she was concerned the bat was badly injured,” said Dr. Leroy Schild, director of Will County Animal Control. “We picked up the animal to be tested and found the bat was rabid.”
Schild then instructed the woman to proceed to her nearest hospital for further treatment.
Will County residents are again reminded to follow these guidelines to protect themselves and their families from rabies:
1. Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals or stray dogs or cats.
2. Vaccinated pets serve as a buffer between rabid wildlife and humans, so be sure dogs and cats are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. Consult with your veterinarian about when your pet needs to be vaccinated.
3. Do not allow pets to roam free.
4. Do not attract wild animals to your home or yard. Store bird seed or other animal feed in containers with tight-fitting lids. Feed pets indoors. Make sure garbage cans are tightly closed. Board up any openings to your attic, basement, porch or garage. Cover chimneys with screens.
5. Encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by an animal. Teach children not to approach or to touch any animal they do not know.
6. Report all animal bites to the local animal control.
If a wild animal comes on your property, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors and alert neighbors. If the animal is acting abnormally (nocturnal animal around during daylight hours, animal having trouble walking, etc.) you should contact your local animal control.
July, August and September are prime months for area bat exposures. Report any contact with a bat, or other warm-blooded animals to the nearest Animal Control authority as soon as possible. Will County Animal Control is available 24 hours daily at 815-462-5633.
For more information, visit the website: www.willcountyhealth.org.