After the discovery of a fourth rabid bat in the area, the McHenry County Department of Health has released tips on how to keep you, your family and pets safe.
For people, the Department recommends taking a "hands off" approach to bats and other wildlife to reduce exposure, along with education of young ones as to the dangers posed by rabies. Most bats leave in the fall or winter to hibernate - these are the best times to bat-proof your home.
For pets, be sure to keep them up to date with vaccinations - this will not only prevent them from getting rabies but provide a barrier of protection for you and your loved ones if your animal is bitten by a rabid animal.
In general, a bat that is active by day, found in a place where bats are not usually seen (such as in your home, in a swimming pool or on the lawn) or is unable to fly, is more likely than others to be rabid. To learn more about rabies prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.
Questions about exposure should be directed to MCDH’s Communicable Disease Program at 815-334-4500.
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