WILMINGTON – A live bat found in the backyard of a Wilmington-area home has become Will County’s third laboratory-confirmed case of wildlife rabies this year.
One of two adults living in a home on the 23,000 block of Highway 113 found the bat Monday and then came in contact with the animal while attempting to provide it with a drink of water, according to a news release from the health department. Will County Animal Control then was notified and the bat was sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health for laboratory analysis. A positive rabies confirmation was received by the Health Department’s Infectious Disease Control section Tuesday.
Because a human rabies exposure was identified, post-exposure rabies prophylaxis has been strongly recommended. Three dogs and two cats also live on the property. Anti-rabies shots have been strongly advised for all five of the animals.
Rabies is a potentially fatal viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected warm-blooded animal. In Illinois, bats constitute the principal rabies threat.
Will County’s first 2014 wildlife rabies confirmation was a bat found in Joliet on May 12. A bat found outside a Braidwood residence also was confirmed positive for rabies June 6. No human exposures were identified in association with these two confirmations.