Watch Out For Rabid Bats & Animals
In this post, we discuss Rabid animals in Illinois and the methods for treatment of bites and removal of bats.
More than a dozen rabid bats found in Illinois so far this year
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has sent out a public announcement stating that people need to be aware of rabid animals, including bats because they have become more active than normal at this time of year.
IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. says “Most cases of rabies in Illinois are almost always found in bats, you can’t tell just by looking at a bat if it has rabies so it’s important to avoid handling bats and to make sure your home has no openings where bats can come in.”
People can get rabies after being bitten by an infected animal. The nervous system is affected by the rabies virus. You can also contract the virus when saliva from the rabid animal gets directly in your eyes, mouth, nose or an open wound.
Because of the size of a bats mouth, people may have difficulty finding the actual bite mark. If you are not sure if you were exposed, but were within close proximity, and wake up to find one in your room, don’t kill it, or release it before calling a doctor, or local Department of Health to make sure you haven’t been exposed to rabies and needing immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of Rabies
Similar to other illnesses, rabies will produce a fever, headache, and general discomfort and weakness. With the progression of the virus, specific symptoms will show up: Such as anxiety, confusion, insomnia, partial paralysis, hallucinations, and excitation. Within days of the onset, death usually occurs.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have been bitten by any animal!
A bat that is active during the day, on the ground, or unable to fly is more likely to have Rabies. An animal doesn’t have to be aggressive or exhibit symptoms to have Rabies. Changes such as these can be early signs of Rabies. Even though these creatures are approached with ease, you should never handle them.
To prevent the spread of Rabies, follow these tips:
- All vaccinations should be kept up-to-date on all cats, dogs, ferrets, and any other animals you may own. Contact your veterinarian if your pet is exposed to a rabid animal.
- Do not unintentionally attract wild animals by touching, feeding, or leaving garbage cans or litter exposed.
- Never bring them into your home, or adopt them. Do not nurse sick, or wild animals to health. Call Animal Control or an animal rescue agency to handle them.
- Children should be taught to never handle unfamiliar animals, (wild or domestic), even when they seem to be friendly. A good way to explain this is “Love your own, leave other animals alone”
- To prevent bats from getting inside your home, maintain homes and buildings.
- Do not release the bat outside if you find one in your home until after speaking with animal control or public health officials.
You may need to capture the bat after consulting with animal control or public health officials, for Rabies testing to determine if preventative treatment is necessary.
Steps to take to capture the bat:
- While wearing gloves, place a box or coffee can over it when it lands.
- Trap the bat inside by using a piece of cardboard underneath the container.
- Secure by taping the cardboard to the container and make small holes in the cardboard to allow the bat to breathe.
Related: How to Get Bats Out of the House
To have a professional remove bats or any unwanted animal from your home or business, call tel:847-464-1861
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