CHICAGO (CBS) — The Illinois Division of Public Well being on Tuesday reported the primary human case of rabies within the state since 1954 in a person who died after apparently being bitten by a bat.
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention confirmed the analysis after testing at its lab, the division mentioned.
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In mid-August, a Lake County man in his 80s woke as much as discover a bat on his neck, the division mentioned. The bat was captured and went on to check optimistic for rabies.
“The person was suggested he wanted to start out postexposure rabies remedy however declined,” the division mentioned in an announcement.
This month, the person began experiencing signs related to rabies – together with neck ache, a headache, numbness, tough controlling his arms, finger numbness, and issue talking. The person has since died.
Individuals who had contact with secretions from the person had been assessed and given rabies preventative remedy as wanted, the division mentioned.
“Rabies has the best mortality price of any illness,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike mentioned in a information launch. “Nonetheless, there’s life-saving remedy for people who rapidly search care after being uncovered to an animal with rabies. If you happen to suppose you might have been uncovered to rabies, instantly search medical consideration and comply with the suggestions of well being care suppliers and public well being officers.”
Human circumstances of rabies are uncommon, with one to 3 circumstances reported nationwide every year. However rabies exposures stay widespread, and an estimated 60,000 People obtain post-exposure vaccines every year. The rabies virus assaults the central nervous system and causes illness and mind dying, the division famous.
Bats are probably the most commonly-identified animals with rabies in Illinois. A bat colony was discovered within the residence of the person who died.
Whereas individuals often know if they’ve been bitten by a bat, bats even have very small tooth and chew marks could be laborious to see, the division mentioned. If you end up close to a bat and aren’t positive should you had been uncovered – comparable to should you get up to discover a bat in your room – you shouldn’t launch the bat because it must be captured for rabies testing.
You must also name your physician or native well being division to find out whether or not you’ve got been uncovered to rabies and wish preventative remedy, in addition to your animal care and management division to take away the bat safely.
A complete of 30 bats have examined optimistic for rabies this yr in Illinois.