Ingham County bat tests positive for rabies

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INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WILX)- The first case of rabies in Michigan this year is confirmed in Ingham County. Authorities say a big brown bat tested positive for the disease, which can be fatal to humans.

Rabies can be transmitted through a bite or scratch from an infected animal. Bats and skunks are the most common carriers in Michigan. There were 41 cases reported in 2016.

What should you do if you find a bat in your home? Experts say it is important to remain calm. Leave the home, or shut the door to the room where the bat is at so that it is confined. It is important to catch the bat so it can be tested for rabies. If you would prefer not to do it yourself, hire a wildlife expert to catch it, and then contact the local health department.

State authorities say your pets and domestic livestock should be vaccinated for rabies. If your animal is bitten, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical attention. For more information about rabies: www.michigan.gov/rabies.