An Illinois man who woke up to find a bat nestled on his neck in mid-August has died of rabies Tuesday.

In a bitterly ironic twist, Tuesday was also World Rabies Day, a global day of action and awareness dedicated to rabies prevention. Only one to three cases of rabies are reported in people in the US each year, but once clinical symptoms appear, the disease is almost always fatal. The victim was advised to start post-exposure rabies treatment immediately, he declined.

Every year, nearly 60,000 people die of rabies around the world. Globally more than 99% of those deaths are due to bites from domestic dogs. Just last summer, the CDC temporarily suspended the importation of dogs from more than 100 countries classified as high risk for canine rabies after the death of dog from Egypt imported by a Canine Rescue Organization.

While actual cases of human rabies in the US are rare, rabies exposures are common and an estimated 60,000 Americans receive the post-exposure vaccination series each year. Today the US is considered free of canine rabies. . In the USA most rabies deaths have come from exposure to wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, and especially bats, which account for around 70% of US rabies deaths since 1960.

Rabid bats are found regularly in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. In LA County over 60 Rabid bats have been identified so far in 2021. A rabid bat was found in Westlake Village in August dead outside of a home.

Rabies vaccines are required for dogs but not always for cats. For that reason around 60 to 70 dogs and more than 250 cats are reported rabid each year. It is strongly advised to vaccinate all you dogs and cats. Many encounters with bats occur when a bat enters the house thru a door or window or when pets go outside thru a door or window is left open accidentally.

If you are not sure your pet is vaccinated please e-mail us for verification. Alternatively use the PetPage app to check your pet’s entire vaccine status for overdue and upcoming vaccine reminder at:

Google play link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.allydvm.comet&hl=en

Apple Store link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/allyconnect/id920690093?mt=8

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