Rabid Bat Found in Morgan County

By Benjamin Cox on June 13, 2024 at 5:46am

The Morgan County Health Department has announced that a bat discovered in the county has tested positive for rabies.

On Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health notified the health department that a bat submitted to lab testing by Morgan County Animal Control tested positive for the disease. Morgan County is the 9th county in the state to report a case of animal rabies this year.

The last rabid dog reported in Morgan County was in 1978. The last rabid cat reported in Morgan County was 1972. The last human case of rabies in Illinois was 1954. Of all the wild animals tested for rabies, bats are the most common in Illinois to test positive for rabies, however, it is important to understand that the majority of bats do not have rabies. Bats are a protected species in Illinois.

Morgan County Health Department would like to remind residents that they should never handle a bat or any wild or stray animal, dead or alive, with your bare hands. If you find a bat in your home, contact Morgan County Animal Control for assistance in removing the bat safely. Bats are prominent in Morgan County and many people often experience bats in their homes. Should you have problems with bats getting into your living space it is important to contact professional assistance with removal and identifying areas of your home that are a point of entry. The University of Illinois Extension Office’s Living with Wildlife in Illinois offers lists of bat exclusion contractors in the area.

For more information, contact the Morgan County Health Department at 217-245-5111.