Macoupin County woman has rabies after being bit by bat - KMOV.com

Macoupin County woman has rabies after being bit by bat

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Eastern red bat (Credit: KMOV) Eastern red bat (Credit: KMOV)

MACOUPIN COUNTY, Illinois (KMOV.com) – Health officials say a Virden, Illinois woman is having to undergo a series of rabies shots after a bat she handled bit her.

The Macoupin County Health Department says during the third week of July, the woman was out riding her bike with her children in the neighborhood when they came across a bat on the ground that appeared to be injured.

According to the health department, the woman bent over to pick up the bat off the sidewalk. The bat then bit her.

The health department says it may have been the woman’s natural instinct to want to help an injured animal, but she immediately knew she made the wrong decision.

Angela Weidner, Macoupin County Health Department said, “It's [rabies] 100% fatal, that's why we always treat. If you get rabies and [are] not treated, it will kill you.”

Health officials say the bat was sent to a state lab in Springfield, Illinois. The bat was determined to be an eastern red bat, just one of the thirteen species of bats found in Illinois, according to the health department. The bat tested positive for rabies.

The health department says the woman has begun receiving treatment for rabies.

“You automatically [should] go ahead and start treatment, because it needs to be started on day zero,” suggested Weidner.

The series of rabies shots can be expensive. The health department says without insurance, the treatment runs about $2,000.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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