A bat was captured Saturday morning by a Wilmington homeowner and turned over to Will County Animal Control, where it tested positive for rabies.
On Saturday morning, the Wilmington homeowner noticed her puppy playing with a “strange object” in her backyard, according to a news release from the health department. The homeowner discovered it was a small bat. The homeowner obtained a plastic container from her house and scooped the bat into a bowl while waiting for Will County Animal Control to arrive. The bat tested positive at the Illinois Department of Public Health lab on Monday, according to the health department.
In total, the household includes three dogs and two cats, all current on rabies vaccinations, according to the homeowner. The exposed puppy has been put in isolation. Seven people, including the two adults who live at the residence and five visitors or neighbors, all reportedly came in contact with the exposed dog’s mouth or saliva. They were advised to begin rabies post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.
Dr. Alpesh Patel from the Will County Health Department said it is important to not allow pets to roam free, and advised keeping pets supervised while they are outdoors.
The health department would like to:
• Remind Will County residents to not feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray cats or dogs, and to not engage a wild animal that comes on your property. Bring children and pets indoors, and don’t let the animal wander away.
• Report all animal bites to Will County Animal Control, and encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten or scratched by an animal. Children should never approach or touch an animal they do not know.
• Remind animal owners that vaccinated pets serve as a buffer between rabid wildlife and humans.
• Remind residents that if they spot a bat on their property, they should contact Will County Animal Control immediately. They are available 24/7 at 815-462-5633.