Weather brings bats out early, raising rabies risk

April 4, 2012

Associated Press

Illinois health officials say the remarkably warm weather means bats are active earlier this year. That increases the risk of exposure to rabies.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that two people are getting treatment after a bat tested positive for rabies.

State public health veterinarian Connie Austin says people shouldn't approach bats. Instead, call your local animal control agency.

If you find a bat indoors, try to contain it in one room and call local animal control officials.

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system. Humans can get rabies from the bite of an infected animal, and it can be fatal if left untreated.

Last year, 49 bats and one cow tested positive for rabies in Illinois.

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