Over a dozen rabid bats have already been detected across Illinois this year in yet another threat to human health.
The cases are mainly scattered in the northeastern part of the state, with a total of 14 of the flying afflicted mammals discovered across 10 counties, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The health department tweeted out a warning on Wednesday, reminding residents to seek immediate medical attention if bitten or scratched by a bat.
Rabies, if not treated quickly, is typically fatal.
Illinois’ first rabid bat of 2021 was found in March — though health officials said at the time that the highest frequency of such cases appear in August and September.
“Most cases of rabies found in Illinois are found in bats,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a March statement.
“Although the majority of bats are not infected with rabies, it is important to avoid touching bats and to make sure your home has no openings where bats can enter.”