Illinois officials: Look out for potentially rabid bats

Chicago Sun-Times File Photo

The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning the state's residents to look out for potentially rabid bats and avoid any contact.

The department said in a news release Tuesday that 10 bats found in the state this year have tested positive for rabies. Bats are becoming more active with warm weather so the possibility of exposure is increasing.

The department said 97 bats were found with rabies in Illinois in 2015.

Rabies is a virus that affects the nervous system. Without treatment it is usually fatal.

People can get rabies when bitten by an infected animal or if saliva from an infected animal gets into their eyes, nose, mouth or an open wound.