A bat found Thursday inside a residence on the 700 block of East 2nd Street in Sterling has tested positive for rabies.
Whiteside County Animal Control sent the bat to the Illinois Department of Public Health to be tested, according to a news release from Whiteside County Health Department.
“It is very important to make sure that your dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies,” the release says. “Humans are at risk of contracting rabies through bites, scratches, or contamination of mucosa (eye, lips, tongue, and mouth), or skin lesions by the infectious saliva.”
The release advises people not to touch or handle ‘grounded” bats.
“When picking up dead or injured bats or animals, use extreme caution,” the release says. “Use a shovel or gloves that can be discarded. Do not re-use gloves after handling a bat, and never use your bare hands.”
People should contact Whiteside County Animal Control at 815-626-3507 if they are injured when picking up bats or animals, or if any other animals are injured or killed by a rabid bat.
For information about rabies, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health Website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/rabies