Bats with rabies double in Illinois

Chicago Sun-Times File Photo

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials say the number of bats found with rabies in Illinois is double the number it was at the same time last year.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says 16 bats have tested positive for rabies this year, compared with eight last year.

The numbers are small. But the Chicago Tribune reports that many have been found in the Chicago area.

Connie Austin is a health department veterinarian and epidemiologist. She says officials are always vigilant about rabid bats but the increased number this year is worth publicizing.

Rabid bats have turned up in recent days in homes in Arlington Heights, Aurora and LaGrange. Two more were found on Chicago's South Side.

Wild animals are more active in warm weather and should be avoided.