Bats and mosquitos are creatures that have sketchy reputations among humans, to say the least.
But when those animals are found to be carrying nasty viruses, people go from being uneasy around them to downright fearful.
READ: Rabid Bat Found Near Beverly Avenue in Tinley Park
In the past week, there have been at least three confirmed reports of rabid bats in the following south suburbs:
- 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.
READ: Oak Lawn Man is 1st Cook County Case of West Nile Virus in 2013
In May of this year a rabid bat was also found in Chicago's Beverly/Morgan Park community.
Patch will continue to map the reported cases throughout the south suburbs. But what should you do to keep you, your family and your pets disease-free? Here some tips for both cases:
- Precautions dealing with rapid bats and other animals
- Precautions concerning the West Nile virus and mosquitoes
If you are bitten by or exposed to a bat, you should contact your doctor immediately, according to the county's animal control department. That agency also should be contacted if you find down or dead bats or skunks in the area. The phone number for Cook County animal control is 708-974-6140. Will County Animal Control can be contacted at at 815-462-5633.
YOUR TURN: Has the recent reports of rabid bats and West Nile virus caused you any worries? Or do you think concerns are overblown as long as you're a sensible person? Share your thoughts in the comments section.