Lawrence M. Walsh
Will County health officials said a fifth rabid bat has been reported. A bat was found Aug. 17 in a house in the 500 block of Bannett Street in Joliet.
A woman in the home was reportedly working in the kitchen when she saw a bat flying around. She quickly contacted the Joliet Police. Joliet Animal Control responded and captured the live bat. There was no human contact with the bat and there were no pets in the residence.
The bat tested positive for rabies on Aug. 18. But since there was no contact with humans or pets, no rabies treatment is required.
August and September are prime months for bat exposure. Will County residents are again reminded to follow these guidelines to protect themselves and their families from rabies:
- Do not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, or stray dogs or cats;
- 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;
- Do not allow pets to roam free;
- Do not attract wild animals to a 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 the attic, basement, porch or garage. Cover chimneys with screens;
- Encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by an animal. Teach children not to approach or touch any animal they do not know;
- Report all animal bites to the local animal control.
- Do not engage a wild animal that comes on your property. If a wild animal is seen, let it wander away. Bring children and pets indoors. If the animal is acting abnormally (nocturnal animal around during daylight hours, animal having trouble walking, etc.), contact a local animal control.
Residents should 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 www.willcountyhealth.org.