The city of Chicago Commission of Animal Control announced on Tuesday that a bat has tested positive for rabies in the West Beverly/Morgan Park area.
The bat was discovered on the 2600 block of W. 107th Street on Saturday, May 5. A rabies examination by the Illinois State Public Health Laboratory determined that the bat was infected with rabies.
Animal care urges residents to keep their dogs, cats and ferrets on a leash when they are outside of the home. They also recommend that you take any pet without a current rabies vaccination to a veterinarian to be inoculated.
As always, it is not a good idea to handle any bats you may find. If you live in Chicago you should call 311 to report it and animal control will be contacted. Suburbanites can contact their local village.
Here are some tips from the Chicago Department of Public Health on how to handle any possible rabies exposure:
- If a bite or scratch has occurred, wash the exposed area thoroughly with soap and water and get medical advice immediately—from your physician or an emergency department.
- Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing.
- Report all bat exposures to Chicago Department of Public Health. Call 311 (312-744-5000) if calling from a non-Chicago area code) to make this report.
- If your pet is exposed to a bat, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
What to do with the bat
- Never touch or otherwise handle a bat with your bare hands.
- If there is any question of exposure (as described above), call Animal Care and Control for assistance in capturing the bat. Animal Care and Control will make arrangements for the bat to be tested for rabies. In Chicago, Animal Care and Control may be reached by calling 311. For locations outside of Chicago, request assistance from the local authorities.
- If it can be done safely (i.e. without touching the bat), try to confine the bat to increase the chance that it will be captured by Animal Care and Control.
- If you are certain that no human or pet exposure (as described above) has occurred, confine the bat to a room by closing all doors and windows leading out of the room except those to the outside. The bat will probably leave soon. If not, call Animal Care and Control to remove the bat.