DOWNTOWN — Seven rabid bats have been found in Chicago this summer, according to Cook County officials.
Nineteen bats have tested tested positive for rabies throughout all of the county this summer, according to a Cook County news release. Last year, 23 rabid bats were found in the county.
The county warned residents to "be cautious around stray animals, outdoor animals and wildlife and prohibits pet from roaming outside."
Rabies can be transmitted to pets and humans through saliva, as when an infected animal bites someone. The virus can be undetectable until someone shows symptoms — like fever, increased salivating or fear of water — at which point it can be difficult if not impossible to treat.
If left untreated, rabies is almost always fatal.
Pets can be vaccinated against rabies. The county offers low-cost clinics that provide vaccines for $7 to $21 for dogs and cats and $9 for ferrets.