Lawrence M. Walsh
Will County officials have confirmed a sixth rabid bat in the county. The bat was found in a residence on August 30 in the 700 block of Oakland Avenue.
A resident in the home struck the bat with a broom and then scooped it into a cup. The resident then put the bat in a freezer and called Joliet Animal Control. The agency retrieved the bat and determined the bat was positive for rabies.
There was no contact with humans or pets, so no further rabies treatment is required.
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.