Lawrence M. Walsh
A seventh rabid bat was reportedly found in Will County on Sept. 16 in a New Lenox residence. Officials said a dog, living in the residence, killed the bat in the backyard. The residents used their hands to pull the bat out of the dog’s mouth and contacted the Will County Animal Control.
The bat was picked up and tested positive for rabies on Sept. 19. The two dogs in the household are current on rabies vaccinations. The residents of the home, a husband and wife, have been advised to begin PEP treatment since both of them handled the rabid bat and had contact with the dog’s mouth to free the bat.
September is a prime month 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.