Village of Diamond

Press Release-Re: Rabies

G R U N D Y C O U N T Y H E A L T H D E P A R T M E N T
1320 Union Street • Morris, Illinois 60450                                 PHONE: (815) 941-3404 • FAX: (815) 941-2389
www.grundyhealth.com

For Immediate Release
Date: May 26, 2022                                                                  Contact Person:Laura Wells
Website: www.grundyhealth.com                                             Contact Phone Number: (815)941-3127

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is advising the public to be cautious of rabid
animals, especially bats, as they become more active this time of year. IDPH has received reports
of five rabid bats in the state from Champaign, Grundy, Jackson, Macon, Will, and
counties. “Bats are the most common carriers of the rabies virus in Illinois and are
responsible for the vast majority of human rabies cases in the United States in recent years.
However, bats are not the only carrier of rabies. The public should not approach any wild,
unfamiliar or stray animals that appear to be sick.”

IDPH is also reminding the public to make sure that rabies vaccinations are up-to-date for pets and
any livestock and horses for whom a rabies vaccine is available. If a pet is exposed to a high-risk
wild animal
–such as a bat, skunk, raccoon, fox or coyote – immediately contact a veterinarian for advice.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system (brain and nerves). People can get rabies after
being bitten by an infected animal. If you have been bitten by any animal, seek immediate medical
attention.

The following tips can help prevent the spread of rabies:
• Do not touch, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or litter.
• Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick, wild animals
to health. Call animal control or an animal rescue agency for assistance.
• Teach children never to handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they
appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to
learn to reduce the risk of exposures to rabid animals.
• Maintain homes and other buildings so bats cannot get inside.
• If a bat is in your home, do not release the bat outdoors until after speaking with animal
control or public health officials.
• After consulting with animal control or public health officials, the bat may need to be
captured for rabies testing to determine if you need preventive treatment.

Steps you can take to capture the bat if found within your home:
• When the bat lands, approach it slowly, while wearing gloves, and place a box over it.
• Slide a piece of cardboard under the container to trap the bat inside.
• Tape the cardboard to the container securely, and punch small holes in the cardboard,
allowing the bat to breathe.
• Do not come into physical contact with a bat.
For more information about rabies and keeping bats out of your home, please visit dph.illinois.gov.

BOARD OF HEALTH
Joan Harrop, J.D.                   Dean Marketti                          Dana Howd, M.D.               Kathy Ulivi,F.N.P.-B.C.
Leticia Setrini-Best, M.D.        Eric Rasmussen                      Ann-Marie Struck, D.D.S.    Dick Joyce             Michelle Pruim, M.B.A., Administrator