There has been confirmation of a third rabid bat in McHenry County. According to Dr. Lisa Lembke, Veterinary Public Health Manager for the Health Department, there was no human exposure; however, two dogs were in contact with the bat. Because the dogs had received the rabies vaccine prior to exposure, they are quarantined at home.
The Health Department reminds residents that vaccinating cats and dogs is their best protection against this deadly virus. McHenry County requires the rabies vaccine and registration for all dogs that are four months or older. Unvaccinated cats (even indoor cats) are susceptible if exposed to the rabies virus. Veterinarians can vaccinate dogs and cats as early as 12 weeks old. Remember that these shots do not last the lifetime of your pet. Revaccination is required every 1 to 3 years.
The best way to avoid rabies is to avoid exposure. During the fall, many bats are migrating and others are looking for winter quarters, which may be in peoples’ attics. While bats have mainly beneficial effects, with some species able to eat up to 600 insects in an hour, keeping bats out of your house is the best protection. Regularly inspect the exterior of your home for signs of small openings in the roof, siding or around doors and windows. Be sure your home is free of bats before sealing any holes. Consider contacting a professional. Find more information on bat exclusion at http://web.extension.illinois.edu (search term bats).
Teachers are on strike….picketing at two high schools in McHenry….where a strike enters day one in McHenry Community High School District 156. The two sides in the negotiations met for six hours Wednesday night, ending their marathon session at 1:30 Thursday morning….no word on new talks…but the strike affects more than 2-thousand students at McHenry High School East Campus and West Campus. No classes Thursday. The last strike by teachers in District 156 was in 1985.