PEORIA, Ill. -- The Peoria County Health Department warned the public about rabies exposure on Friday after a rabid bat was found in Peoria County.
The Health Departmetn says rabies iis often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal like raccoons, skunks, or bats, but domestic animals such as dogs and cats also account for some of the reported rabies cases in the United States.
Jean Bellisario, Infectious Disease Director at Peoria City/County Health Department, provides safety tips to individuals to protect against rabies.
• Avoid contact with wild or unfamiliar animals and don't feed them, even if they seem friendly
• Be sure dogs and cats are up-to-date on rabies vaccinations
• Check buildings for small openings which may allow bats to enter and keep doors closed
• If attacked by an animal, wash any wounds immediately. One of the most effective ways to decrease the chance for infection is to wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Seek medical evaluation. You may need post exposure prophylaxis to be protected.
• If you suspect exposure to a bat bite, or if a bat was seen in a room with a sleeping child or adult, seek medical attention for follow up. Most bat bites are as small as a needle puncture and you may not be able to see them.
• If bitten by an animal, contact animal control. Observation and or testing of the animal may help to prevent the need for rabies prophylaxis if the animal is found to be healthy.