Naperville warns against touching bats after 2 test positive for rabies

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NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- Two bats have tested positive for the rabies virus in Naperville.

The city is now warning people not to touch any bats, dead or alive. Advice, that came a little late for one teen.

The teen is doing well, but she is getting treated for rabies, just in case. Meanwhile, her mother is taking steps to make sure the bats they discovered find another place to roost.

Last Friday, a group of teenagers had gathered at 15-year-old Madaline Lumsden's Naperville home for a camp fire when a bat interrupted their evening.

They found a bat flopping around on the ground, unable to fly.

Wanting to help the animal, she grabbed a pair of gloves and put the little brown bat in a box.

That's when the bat grabbed a hold of the tip of her finger.

What Lumsden didn't know at the time is not being able to fly is a sign of a rabies infected bat. Lumsden and her mother Christine brought the bat to an animal clinic where the vets confirmed the bat was infected with rabies, which can be deadly to humans.

Lumsden started rabies shots to be on the safe side. Treatments consists of a series of shots over several days.

"It hurts. My thighs are really soar because they give you two shots in each thigh in a very tender spot and they have to go into your muscle with a two to three inch needle and and it's just painful," said Lumsden.

Just a few days later, another rabid bat was dead inside a home about three miles away.

The city sent out notices to people in both neighborhoods to keep people safe.

The Lumsden's are getting an expert to make sure the bats leave their home and area for good and find another place to roost.

Less than five percent of bats tested, according to the state, are infected but it is still good to keep your pet vaccinations up and call the city to pick up any dead wildlife.

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