Bats and Diseases

Bats May Carry Rabies and Histoplasmosis: What to do if you are exposed to a live or dead bat?

Bats are most active during the summer and fall months. They are nocturnal and are carriers of many diseases that can be transferred to humans following direct contact. Direct contact with bats resulting in scratches, bites, or even simply touching a bat can spread infections including Rabies and Histoplasmosis. It is recommended to avoid direct contact with bats, but if exposed, you should follow several steps outlined below. 

What do you do if you are exposed to a bat?

  • Clean the wound
  • Seek immediate medical attention and follow medical directions and maintain post-exposure vaccination appointments
  • If you were exposed and/or came into contact with the bat, it is important that the bat is captured and tested for rabies.  If indoors, isolate the bat by closing doors and windows and contact the Skokie Animal Control Division at 847-982-5900 immediately.  Animal Control will submit the bat for testing.  If you have specific questions regarding Rabies and/or Histoplasmosis and/or questions regarding treatment for rabies contact the Skokie Health and Human Services Department at 847-933-8252 during business hours or 847-982-5900 during off-hours.

For more information about Rabies including information about signs of exposure please visit:  Rabies Fact SheetFor more information about Histoplasmosis please visit: Histoplasmosis Fact Sheet. 

For concise information about Bats and Bat Encounters please visit: Bat Encounter Fact Sheet.

Bats (JPG)