SPRINGFIELD — A northern Illinois man has died of rabies after apparently being bitten by a bat — the first human case of rabies in the state since 1954.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday in a release that the diagnosis has been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The man’s name was not released. Officials said he was in his 80s and lived in Lake County. He woke up in mid-August and found a bat on his neck.
The bat was captured and later tested positive for rabies. Officials said the man declined to begin post-exposure rabies treatment.
The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system and causes disease and brain death.