The Will County Health Department announced that the fourth bat of the year in the area has tested positive for rabies.
The bat was collected from the 100 block of First Street in Braidwood, according to a news release. No animals were located at the home, and the homeowner said there was no human exposure.
Other rabid bats were found this year in Homer Glen, Frankfort and Steger. Last year, there were a total of 19 confirmed rabid bats in Will County, with the significant number credited in part to more awareness and vigilance on the part of residents, according to the health department.
The health department advises Will County residents to immediately report any bats to Will County Animal Control at 815-462-5633.
Will County Animal Control's program maintains a 24-hour answering and emergency pick-up service for confined stray animals, injured animals and stray biters.
In addition to reporting any discovered bats, the health department advises residents 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. Residents should also look over all residents and pets that were present near the bat for any small puncture or bite marks. The health department also wanted to remind residents not to touch a deceased bat and to remember to have their pets vaccinated against rabies.
For more information on bats and rabies, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.