With the discovery of yet another rabid bat, this one in Romeoville, Will County has now tied the record for the number of wildlife rabies cases in one year set in 2007.
The most recent case -- number 11 for the year -- was confirmed today, according to the Will County Health Department. The injured bat was discovered Monday taking shelter in a flower pot outside a residence in the 600 block of Montrose Drive.
The home's two residents and their two indoor cats were not exposed and thus won't need to be be treated, a health department release said.
As of Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health had reported just 61 cases of rabid wildlife in 24 counties. Will County's case totals include four confirmations in Joliet, three in Plainfield, two in Manhattan and one in Naperville. There have been four Will County confirmations since Sept. 17, including two in Plainfield and a bat found in the basement of a Joliet home Sept. 25.
Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which is almost universally fatal if post-exposure treatment isn't expedited, according to the health department. Humans are most often exposed due to the bite or scratch from an infected warm-blooded animal.
Cooler temperatures typically diminish the incidence of rabies exposures resulting from contact with bats, but residents are still urged to report any contact with bats to the local animal control authority or Will County Animal Control, which is available 24 hours daily at 815-462-5633.