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updated: 8/14/2013 5:30 PM

Rabid bat found in Batavia

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A rabid bat was found in a Batavia yard Saturday, the Kane County Health Department reported Wednesday.

No humans suffered exposure to the rabies virus, department spokesman Tom Schlueter said.

Schlueter did not know where the bat was found, whether it was alive at the time, or what about its behavior prompted someone to report it.

A specific location is not important, he said, because "there are bats everywhere."

It is the first rabies-positive bat found in Kane County this year, according to Schlueter. One was discovered last year and one in 2011.

Rabies is a neurological disease, affecting the brain. It causes unnatural behavior in mammals. Schlueter urged people to be wary if they see bats acting unusually, such as a bat that is not able to fly, is outside in daytime, or that doesn't fly away in fear from an animal or person. The virus is transmitted by exposure to the saliva or brain and nerve tissue of the infected mammal.

The health department reminds people to make sure pets' rabies vaccinations are up to date; even indoor pets should be vaccinated, because bats can be found indoors.

According to Schlueter, the last human case of rabies in Illinois happened in 1954. The Centers for Disease Control reports that in 2010, there were two cases of human rabies reported in the United States.

Information on how to keep bats out of your house is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

For information about capturing bats or submitting specimens for testing, call Kane County Animal Control at (630) 232-3555.

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