Man Dies Of Rabies After Being Bitten By Bat, First Human Case In Illinois Since The 1950s

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Kevin Harness Contributor
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An Illinois man was bitten by a bat infected with rabies and died, making it was the first human case in the state since 1954, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Eighty-seven-year-old Lake County resident, Thomas Krob, was bitten by a rabid bat in mid-August and then died a month later after refusing to have the bite treated, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show A Real Albino Baby Bat?)

Krob woke up one morning in August, to find that there was a bat on his neck, Fairfield Citizen reported.

The bat was captured and did test positive for rabies but Krob refused to be treated for post-exposure, KABC-TV reported.

Krob started experiencing symptoms consistent with those of rabies including neck pain, headaches, numbness in the fingers, and difficulty speaking a month after having been bitten, he later died, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Sadly, this case underscores the importance of raising public awareness about the risk of rabies exposure in the United States,” Lake County Health Department Executive Director Mark Pfister said, according to Fairfield Citizen. “Rabies infections in people are rare in the United States, however, 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.”

Thirty bats have tested positive for rabies this year in Illinois, and more than 1,000 bats are tested each year after possible exposure, officials said, according to KABC-TV.