Adding to the list of rabid bats found recently in Cook County is a little critter discovered in Palos Park.
On Sept. 11, a bat was found near 123rd and Fox Lane in Palos Park and was determined by the llinois State Public Health Laboratory to be rabid, according to an email blast sent by Police Commissioner Dan Polk.
In the past several weeks there have been other rabid bats discovered in nearby suburbs. The partial list includes:
- Tinley Park: The Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control reported Aug. 27, that the Illinois State Public Health Laboratory determined a bat find by a resident was rabid.
- Evergreen Park: A homeowner found a dead bat that tested positive for rabies late last week.
- Mokena: A live bat later found to be rabid was found inside a home Aug. 27, though it was discovered before injuring any people or pets.
- Joliet: Will County health officials also confirmed that two rabid bats also were found in that city recently.
Animals exposed to rabies do not have to be aggressive or behaving erratically. Changes in any animal’s normal behavior can be early signs of rabies. Bats on the ground, unable to fly, or those which are active during that day could potentially be rabid, county officials said.
Such bats are often easily approached but should never be handled.
Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system or humans and other mammals. A person may contract rabies through a bite, scratch or saliva from an infected animal, a county press release said.
Specifically, pertaining to bats, a bite or scratch may not be seen or even felt by the injured person due to the small size of its teeth and claws. Potentially rabies exposures should never be taken lightly. If untreated, rabies is fatal.
-Lorraine Swanson contributed to this article.