The DeKalb County Health Department says that a bat captured in a bedroom in Hinckley on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies. The bat was captured after the person sleeping in the room woke up to the bat flying around.
The health department says rabies is primarily carried by bats in Illinois and you cannot always tell by looking at the animal if it's rabid. Changes in bat's behavior, like flying during the day or being on the ground unable to fly or walk mean the animal is likely rabid and should be avoided. Bat bites might not be felt while sleeping, so its a good idea to call a doctor if you find one in a bedroom where people sleep.
Rabies is fatal without fast treatment. It can be spread by being bitten by a rabid animal or coming into contact with its saliva. Anyone who has contact with a bat should seek immediate medial attention.
The health department says if you catch a bat in your home don't release the animal until speaking to DeKalb County Animal Control. People should also make sure that their pets are current with rabies vaccinations. DeKalb County Animal Control can be reached at 815-748-2427.