The Will County Health Department Environmental Health Division is reporting the first two Will County rabid bats of 2020. One was found in the 1500 block of Marion Drive in Wilmington. A family of five was exposed to the bat, and no pets were in the house. PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) has been recommended for the family, as the bat was in the house overnight before being captured by Will County Animal Control. The second bat was found in the 300 block of North Broadway in Joliet. No one was exposed, and there were no pets.
The Health Department reminds you that although it has been a slow year for rabid bats this far, extreme caution must still be practiced. As recently as 2018, there were 19 confirmed rabid bats in Will County, with that high number credited in part to more awareness and vigilance on the part of Will County residents. WCHD asks that this awareness continue for benefit of all Will County residents.
Bats discovered in Will County need to be immediately reported to Will County animal control at 815-462-5633. The Will County Animal Control Program maintains a 24-hour answering and emergency pick-up service for confirmed stray animals, injured animals, and stray biters.
In addition to being asked to report any discovered bats immediately, Will County residents are also reminded to remove any people and animals from the area where the bat is, and to close off the vicinity where the bat is located if possible. Also, please look check all residents and pets that were around the bat for any small puncture or bite marks. Residents are reminded to not touch a deceased bat, and to please also remember to have your pets currently vaccinated against rabies.
For more information on bats and rabies, please to go this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site: https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/exposure/animals/bats.html.