BEVERLY — Two rabid bats have been found in the last four days in Beverly and Morgan Park.
The first bat was found Saturday in the 11100 block of South Talman Avenue in Morgan Park. The second was found Monday in the 1800 block of West 105th Street in Beverly, according to the city's Department of Animal Care and Control.
O'Shea advised residents not to handle any bats or other wild animals. If a bat is found, he recommended that individuals call 311. The Far Southwest side alderman also suggested keeping pets on a leash when out of the home and making sure all domesticated animals have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one or two cases of rabies in humans are reported each year. The most common source is bats, which are responsible for 17 of the 19 cases of human rabies between 1997 and 2006.
Though rabies can only be confirmed in a laboratory, there are signals that a bat is carrying the disease, according to the CDC.
What to look for: Bats that are active by day, unable to fly, easily approached, or found in a place where not usually seen, such as your lawn.
Rabies can't be contracted through casual contact with a bat (such as petting fur), or its feces, urine or blood.
Infection passes via bite (which can be difficult to detect due to bats' small teeth) or by entering the bloodstream through the eyes, nose, mouth or open wound.
If you think you or your pet may have been bitten by a bat, try to capture the bat for testing (instructions here).
Fall and winter are the best times of year to "bat proof" your home. Any bats that may have taken up residence during the summer will have left to hibernate, according to the CDC.
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