LAKE COUNTY, Ill. — Residents in Lake County are being warned about rabid bats after two house cats killed a bat inside a home in Lake Villa this week.

A second bat, found in a resident’s dog kennel in Waukegan, also tested positive for rabies, according to a news release from the Lake County Health Department.

The cats were treated with rabies boosters, and the dogs did not come in contact with the bat. There was no human contact with the bats, the county health department said.

In 2010, 13 bats in Lake County tested positive for rabies. Bats are the only animals that have tested positive for rabies for more than 20 years in the county, the health department said.

If untreated, rabies is an almost always fatal disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals.

Most commonly, people get rabies from the bite of a rabid animal. In other cases, people can contract rabies if any infectious material from a rabid animal, such as saliva, comes in contact with one’s nose, mouth, an open wound or gets directly into the eyes.

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