Health officials said Tuesday that an Illinois man woke up weeks ago to find a bat on his neck that died this month from the first human case of rabies since 1954.
The Lake County man, who was in his 80s, found the animal on his neck in mid-August and refused treatment, but developed rabies symptoms a month later, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the diagnosis Tuesday.
In the United States, one to three cases of rabies in humans are reported each year. Once clinical signs appear, the disease is almost always fatal. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state health department said the man in Lake County had symptoms of rabies, including neck pain, difficulty controlling his arms, numbness in the fingers and difficulty speaking. A bat colony was found in his house.
Dr. said. Nagozi Hazaki, Director of the Department of Health. in the current situation. He and others said they hope this unfortunate event will raise awareness.
A vaccine can be given after exposure, and 30,000 to 60,000 people in the United States receive treatment each year, says the CDC.
In the United States, most rabies deaths in humans come after exposure to bats, according to the CDC, but any mammal can get them. She added that other animals susceptible to rabies include raccoons, skunks and foxes.
Rabies causes the greatest number of deaths worldwide in Asia and Africa, and dogs are the main source of transmission to humans, according to the World Health Organization.
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