YPSILANTI, Mich. – Washtenaw County residents should be cautious when exposed to bats and other wild animals.
On Thursday, the Washtenaw County Health Department announced it had received a report of a rabid bat, the first of 2022.
Bats, along with coyotes, foxes, raccoons, shunks and unvaccinated household pets, can carry rabies — a viral disease found the saliva of infected animals. The virus is transmitted when an infected animal bites or scratches another animal or person.
Symptoms of rabies include fever, headaches, fatigue, pain, numbness near the bite, paralysis and seizures, among others. The disease is fatal if not treated.
So far, the reported case is the only one of its kind this year. As of February 14, eleven animals in Washtenaw County had been tested for rabies, including four bats, but only one tested positive, according to a chart from the Health Department.
Those who are bit by animals or exposed to bats should report the incidents to Washtenaw County Health Department at 734-544-6700 to see if rabies testing is needed.
If a bat is found in a home, residents should try to safely collect the animal. Residents can try to use leather gloves and a container to catch the animal or call animal control companies for help, according to the Health Department’s Rabies factsheet.
Those who are bit or scratched should by a potentially rabid animal should clean the wound right away and contact their doctor or healthcare provider. Exposed individuals may need a series of preventative shots and treatment.
Learn more about the county’s rabies resources here.
This year’s first case of a rabid bat has been reported to the Health Department. Call the WCHD at 734-544-6700 if you have had contact with a bat, or have had a bat in your home, for recommendations on treatment and vaccines. For more info visit: https://t.co/itbjE64y2w pic.twitter.com/D5ElKL0Ki1— Washtenaw County Health Department (@wcpublichealth) February 17, 2022