CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is warning the public about rabid animals after two bats in Champaign County have tested positive for rabies.
Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease that travels through saliva from infected animals. In the United States, it’s mostly spread through bites or scratches from wild animals like bats, racoons, skunks and foxes.
Health experts say the best ways to prevent include vaccinating pets against rabies, keeping a safe distance from wild animals, and seeking treatment immediately after a potential exposure instead of before symptoms start.
Most people can tell when bitten by a bat, but it’s possible for a person to find themselves in a situation where they are unsure if they were exposed to rabies. IDPH recommends trapping that bat and calling your local health department to see if you need preventive treatment.
IDPH strongly recommends any bat entering a work or home area should be captured to be tested for rabies. They suggest confining a bat to a room, then trapping the bat in a box and slide carboard under the box. If you need assistance capturing a bat, you can call Champaign County Animal Control.