Rabid bat in Braidwood 4th found in Will County this year

A rabid bat was found recently in southwest suburban Braidwood, making it the fourth such bat to be collected in Will County this year.

The bat was collected in the 100 block of First Street, the Will County Health Department said. No other animals were in the home and no humans were exposed to the disease.

In 2018, there were 19 confirmed rabid bats captured in Will County, authorities said. Health officials partially credit the drop in confirmed cases to "more awareness and vigilance on the part of Will County residents."

Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system, the CDC said. It is 99% fatal in people who haven't been vaccinated or seek immediate medical attention.

Only one or two people in the U.S. contract rabies each year, the CDC said. However, those cases almost always come from contact with a bat that carried the disease.

Will County residents who see a bat should call Will County Animal Control at 815-462-5633, health officials said. They are also advised to vaccinate their pets and to never touch a dead bat.