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Rabies-Infected Bat Touched by Joliet 4-Year-Old, Health Department Says

The child is being treated for rabies exposure; the bat was found in the driveway of his home in the 1200 block of Massachusetts.

A live rabid bat, which was touched by a 4-year-old boy, was found on 's West Side.

It's the second rabid bat found in Joliet this year, according to a media release from the .

The child began undergoing post-exposure rabies treatment Wednesday after the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that the bat tested positive for rabies, the county health department said. The bat was found in the driveway of a home in the 1200 block of Massachusetts Avenue, not far from the intersection of Ingalls Avenue and Plainfield Road.

Two adults and two pets also reside on the property where the bat was found, but none were exposed to rabies.

Post-exposure treatment typically consists of a regimen of immune globulin and rabies vaccine being administered over a 14-day period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

was the first to respond to the incident, and the Will County Animal Control was contacted to transport the bat for laboratory analysis.

The first rabid bat, which was dead, was found on the sidewalk of an Earl Street home May 21, the health department said. In that case, no human exposure occurred.

Through June 26, Will County was one of 14 Illinois jurisdictions to report 2012 rabies activity. At least 25 animals have been confirmed rabid so far this year, including one case from neighboring Grundy County.

In 2011, the state reported 50 wildlife confirmations from 20 counties, including seven rabid bats from Will County. The area’s 2011 confirmations included three bats from Homer Glen and two from Bolingbrook.

The Will County Health Department and Will County Animal Control urge area residents to avoid contact with all wildlife, especially bats. Any contact with a bat should be reported to the nearest Animal Control authority as soon as possible.

Bats remain the prime rabies carrier in Illinois and were responsible for 49 of the 50 wildlife confirmations reported a year ago.

For more information or to report a potentially rabid animal, call Will County Animal Control at 815-462-5633.

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