BOONE COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) -- A bat recently tested positive for rabies in Boone County, according to health officials.
The Boone County Health Department warns people to avoid contact with bats in the area. The warning comes as bats become more active during this time of year.
Bats are the primary carrier of rabies in Illinois, according to the health department. The presence of rabies can be a serious risk to pets and family members.
"It’s important to remember that you should never try to approach or catch a bat, or any wild animal, in your home," says Amanda Mehl, Public Health Administrator at the Boone County Health Department. "If you suspect exposure to bats, report that exposure immediately to the health department."
The health department says the best way to prevent bats from entering your home is to seal cracks, chimney holes, or other areas that may allow a bat to enter. Locals are also encouraged to keep their pets up-to-date with rabies vaccinations.
Those who find bats in their home are asked to call the Boone County Health Department at 815-547-7774.