A Special note about Rabies and Bats

In Michigan two species of animals commonly carry and transmit the Rabies virus, skunks and bats. Remember that the bat can readily gain access to our homes, and its bite is no more noticeable than that of a mosquito. Whenever you find a bat in a house, catch it and take it to the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, at MSU, or to a veterinarian. They in turn will send it to be examined at the State Health Laboratory for Rabies.

The testing is free.

Just over one year ago, a Michigan man died from the bat strain of Rabies, the first human fatality in many decades in Michigan.Reportedly, a few months before becoming ill, he had killed a bat in his house, and did not have it tested for Rabies. Recently, a bat testing positive for Rabies was found in a home in the Ann Arbor area. The family living there is undergoing prophylactic treatment for Rabies. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that both dogs and cats need to be vaccinated for Rabies to protect them and their human owners in the event they are exposed to, or bitten by, a bat carrying Rabies.

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