Illinois health departments warning about bat encounters -

Illinois health departments warning about bat encounters

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

( -- Bats are more active this time of year, and health departments throughout Illinois say parents need to warn children about them.

Health officials warn it can be easy to be exposed to rabies especially if you don’t realize a bat has bitten you.

News 4 found out more and more people have been calling their health department after coming in contact with bats.

Bats are the number one rabies carrier in Illinois. If you spot one during the day or find it on the ground, unable to fly don’t touch it.

There’s a good chance the animal is sick.

If you find one in your home, leave it alone and call animal control to come get it.

The Madison County Health Department says two bats found in one Highland, Illinois neighborhood not far from Spindler Park tested positive for rabies. And it might surprise you where they were found.

“A lot of times we find them on screened-in porches, detached garages, stuff like that,” said Highland Police Detective Scott Athmer. “They do get into attics. We found a few of them inside actual residences before.”

Bats’ teeth are so tiny, you might not even realize you’ve been bitten. So if you’ve been exposed – for example if you woke find that one was in your house while you were sleeping - get to your doctor to be safe.

Rabies can be deadly if left untreated.

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