SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Illinois has recorded its first human case of rabies since 1954, state and suburban public health officials said Tuesday. Now, people are being urged to take precautions if they come into contact with bats.
According to the Lake County Health Department, in mid-August, a man in his 80s in north suburban Lake County awoke to a bat on his neck. The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies. The man was advised he needed to start post-exposure rabies treatment, but declined.
One month later, the individual began experiencing symptoms consistent with rabies, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness, and difficulty speaking. The individual subsequently died.