Bats are not the cutest animals around, and people now have one more reason to stay away from them.
Will County officials announced yesterday they found a sixth bat with rabies. The south of Chicago county’s Animal Control agency confirmed that the animal found in New Lenox on Wednesday had rabies, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Officials said no human contact had been made with the bat, which was found hanging from a tree branch. The animal was captured and brought to the Illinois Department of Health Laboratory to conduct analyses.
Although the fatal disease has been generally kept under control in the last few decades, with very few cases of human infection, an increasing number of cases in animals such as bats have been observed in recent years.
This year alone, Will County officials have already identified other five cases of rabid bats and have investigated whether any humans had been exposed.
“It’s critical to remember that people should never attempt to handle bats, or any other wild animal,” wrote Lee Schild, Will County Animal Control Administrator, in a press release issued last month.
“Bats pose a genuine rabies threat to humans and people should always avoid contact with them. Any potential exposures should be reported to a health care provider and the most appropriate animal control authority immediately.”
According to Schild, August and September represent the prime months for bat activity.