One of our Board Members received the following information via email from her vet, Blum Animal Hospital:

Dear Clients,

We wanted to alert you that a few cases of rabid bats have been discovered in our area over the last several weeks. Most recently, a bat with rabies was discovered in a home in the Wrigleyville area and three family cats were exposed to it.

Rabies is a preventable viral disease of mammals that is usually transmitted by a bite or scratch from an infected animal. The virus attacks the nervous system and once signs appear, the disease is usually fatal.

What can you do?

Vaccinating your cat or dog is the best method of prevention and is required by law in many communities, including Cook County.

If your pet is bitten by an animal, consult with your veterinarian immediately and report the bite to local animal control authorities. Officials may require your pet to be re-vaccinated or, in some cases, placed under quarantine or euthanized.

If you are bitten by an animal, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Call your physician immediately and follow their advice.

If possible, confine or capture the animal that bit you, but only if you can do so safely and without getting bitten again. Call the local animal control authorities (such as the Department of Animal and Rabies Control (708-974-6140) in Chicago), to collect the animal. If the animal cannot be captured, try to remember its appearance and location. All mammal bites to humans must be reported to the local police department.

Please be aware that bats have very small teeth. Therefore, a bite from a bat may not be felt and may leave marks that are not easily seen.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For your pet's safety,

The Staff at Blum Animal Hospital

3219 N. Clark Street - Chicago, IL 60657 - (773)327-4446