An Illinois man died this month within the state’s first human case of rabies since 1954, in keeping with well being officers on Tuesday.
The Lake County man, in his 80s, awoke in mid-August to discover a bat on his neck.
The bat was captured and examined optimistic for rabies, however when well being officers advised the person he wanted to start out post-exposure rabies therapy, he declined, the Illinois Division of Public Well being (IDPH) stated in a statement.
A month later, the person began experiencing signs of rabies, together with neck ache, problem controlling his arms, finger numbness and problem talking.
He subsequently died and a bat colony was present in his house.
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the prognosis Tuesday.
Just one to 3 human rabies circumstances are reported within the U.S. annually, in keeping with the CDC. With out correct therapy after signs seem, rabies is normally deadly, well being officers added.
“Rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease,” stated IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “However, there is life-saving treatment for individuals who quickly seek care after being exposed to an animal with rabies. If you think you may have been exposed to rabies, immediately seek medical attention and follow the recommendations of health care providers and public health officials.”
Whereas circumstances of human rabies within the U.S. are uncommon, incidents of rabies exposures are nonetheless frequent, with an estimated 60,000 People receiving the “post-exposure vaccination series” annually, in keeping with well being officers.
“Sadly, this case underscores the importance of raising public awareness about the risk of rabies exposure in the United States,” stated Lake County Well being Division Government Director Mark Pfister.
In Illinois, bats are the most typical species to hold rabies. Not less than 30 bats have examined optimistic for rabies within the state this yr.
Rabies is normally unfold via an animal chunk. Different animals probably to unfold rabies embody canines, coyotes, foxes, skunks and raccoons, according to the CDC.