Cox Media Group National Content Desk’s Bob D’AngeloLAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS — An Illinois man died Tuesday after being bitten by a rabid bat in August, the state’s first human case since 1954, according to health officials. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Thomas Krob, 87, of Spring Grove, awoke in August with a bat on his neck. According to WLS, the bat was captured and tested positive for rabies.According to an Illinois Department of Public Health news release, Krob declined treatment.
Krob “began experiencing symptoms consistent with rabies” one month later, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness, and difficulty speaking, according to the news release.McHenry County Coroner Michael Rein said his office was contacted about Krob’s death on Sept. 20, and an autopsy confirmed Krob had contracted rabies, according to the Sun-Times.”
They have very small teeth, so if you were asleep or unaware, you might not notice that you’ve been bitten,” Liza Lehrer, assistant director of the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Urban Wildlife Institute, told WLS.WBBM reported that a bat colony was discovered in Krobs’ home.Human cases of rabies are uncommon, with only one to three cases reported nationwide each year, according to the television station. However, rabies exposures continue to be common, and the Illinois Department of Public Health reports that approximately 60,000 Americans receive post-exposure vaccines each year.
According to the news release, the rabies virus attacks the central nervous system, causing disease and brain death.According to WBBM, bats are the most commonly identified animals with rabies in Illinois.In the release, Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, stated, “Rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease.” “However, there is life-saving treatment available for people who seek medical attention right away after being exposed to a rabid animal.”
According to the news release, 30 bats tested positive for rabies in Illinois in 2021, and more than 1,000 bats are tested annually in the state after possible exposure.
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