A bat bit a man in Illinois in his sleep, who later died. Allegedly, he caught rabies, making the first human case in Illinois since 1954.

In a press release, the Illinois Deptartment of Health revealed that in mid-August, the 80-year-old man found a bat on his neck when he woke up from his sleep and denied taking precautions for possible exposure to rabies. They further warned the public of “bats that could be in your home.”

Later that month, the old man started to have symptoms of rabies including: difficulty controlling his hands, neck pain, headache, difficulty speaking, and numbness.

After when the bat was tested, it was found he was carrying rabies and thereby it caused the death of the old man later that month.

Illinois man, bit by bat while he slept, dies of rabies in first reported case since 1954

On Tuesday, the officials from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control validate the diagnosis results.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the IDPH Director in a press release said, “Rabies has the highest mortality rate of any disease,”

As per the CDC statement, most bats do not carry rabies, however, a great number of people in the U.S. caught the disease from nocturnal mammals.

According to the researchers, human cases in this regard are rare, hardly one or two cases are encountered every year in America.

In an interview, Lake County Health Department Executive Director, Mark Pfister said, “Once symptoms begin, rabies is almost always fatal, making it vital that an exposed person receive appropriate treatment to prevent the onset of rabies as soon as possible,”

The IDPH suggests, anyone who encounters a bat or find it nearby must report to local health centers. The only way to test an animal for rabies is through laboratory testing.

The statement includes, “You cannot tell just by looking at a bat if it has rabies.”