Joliet child treated after touching rabid bat
BY MARY KATE KNORR email@example.com June 28, 2012 9:46AM
A boy is undergoing rabies treatment after touching a rabid bat found on the driveway of this residence. | Mary Kate Knorr~Sun-Times Media
Will County Animal Control’s phone number is 815-462-5633.
Updated: July 30, 2012 6:20AM
JOLIET — Four-year-old Daniel Deresendes was hanging out with his family last Thursday when the boy bent to grab a leaf on his family’s driveway — it turned out to be a rabid bat.
Now, the pre-schooler will have to endure post-exposure rabies shots for the next two weeks. Authorities from the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed the bat had rabies.
“We were just outside playing, picking up sticks and leaves, and Daniel picked up what he thought was a leaf, but it was the bat,” his mother, Jill Deresendes, said. “He dropped it right away, but then we didn’t really know what to do.”
This incident marked Will County’s second confirmed case of wildlife rabies this year. The first occurred when a bat was found dead on an Earl Street sidewalk back in May.
In 2011, animal control facilities in Will County picked up 167 bats, including seven that tested positive for rabies.Through June 26, Will County was one of 14 Illinois jurisdictions to report 2012 rabies activity.
At least 25 animals have been confirmed rabid so far this year, including one case from neighboring Grundy County.
The Deresendes family contacted Joliet police and was told to wait until the next day before calling animal control.
“The bat was alive but laying down, so we just kind of put some things around it so it wouldn’t move and we called animal control in the morning,” Jill said. “(Animal control) said we should have called that night and it should have been an emergency call.”
Joliet Township Animal Control initially handled the incident, which took place in the 1200 block of Massachusetts Avenue, and Will County Animal Control transported the bat to Springfield for laboratory analysis.
“Daniel said he wasn’t bitten and I was confident he wasn’t bitten, but our pediatrician was concerned because sometimes when bats bite, people don’t even feel it,” Jill said.
The Deresendes family went ahead with post-exposure treatments because of rabies’ long incubation period, meaning illness could develop anytime between 10 days to seven years.
The treatment varies based on the person, but in Deresendes’ case, he will receive shots another three times over the next 14 days.
“The side-effects (to the treatment) can be just like vaccines: mild fever, stuff like that,” said Jill. “His legs have been sore but other than that, he’s been fine.”