Warmer weather means more rabid animals out and about.
Illinois Department of Public Health warns the public to be aware of rabid animals, especially bats, as they become more active.
IDPH received four reports of rabid bats in the state since the middle of May in Champaign, Jackson, Macon and Will counties.
The department stresses a bite from a rabid animal can be fatal if not treated and that the public should take precautions to keep bats out of the home.
It’s also important to make sure your pets or any livestock are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.
Rabies is transmitted when an infected animal bites a person and it impacts the nervous system.
IDPH warns that if you find yourself in close proximity to a bat and you are unsure if you were exposed, do not kill or release the bat before calling your doctor or local health department. They may ask for testing of the bat for rabies.
You can prevent the spread of rabies by not touching, feeding or attracting wild animals to your home with open cans of garbage or litter, teach children to not handle unfamiliar animals, and never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home.
If you have to capture the bat, approach it slowly while wearing gloves and place a box or coffee can over it. Then, slide a piece of cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside and tape the cardboard to the container. You should also punch small holes in the cardboard allowing the bat to breath, then take it to your local health department or to your doctor.
Learn more when you visit the IDPH website.