A resident of the US state of Illinois died of rabies. A month ago, he was hit by a racket that he found in his bedroom. This is the first such case since 1954.
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After waking up, the man realized that there was a bat sitting on his neck. The animal was examined and found to be infected with rabies. Those affected refused treatment, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said.
Over the following weeks, he began to have neck pain, headaches, loss of sensation in his fingers, lack of control over his arm movements, and difficulty communicating.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that he had rabies. The habitat of bats was found in his house.
“The mortality rate for rabies is the highest of all diseases. However, rabies can be treated and lives saved if we react immediately after contact with an infected animal.”
Rabies can be infected by direct contact with an infected animal, for example through saliva, the CDC reports. The virus attacks the central nervous system and causes brain disease that can lead to death if not treated properly. In the United States, this disease in humans is rare, but every year 60,000. Americans are vaccinated after coming into contact with an infected creature.
The IDPH Director warns that you can often overlook being bitten by bats, as these mammals have tiny teeth and the markings are microscopic. If an animal is found, it should not be released until it has been tested for the presence of the virus.
Most people get rabies from bats. According to a 2019 CDC report, they cause infection in seven out of ten cases.
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