Rabid bat found in Kalamazoo County

Posted at 12:52 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-17 15:09:43-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Community Services says a bat has tested positive for rabies.

According to a release, this is the first time a rabies positive bat has been found in the county since 2013.   Health department officials say a Kalamazoo County resident awoke to find the bat in their bedroom and the animal was submitted for testing June 14.

The person received a rabies vaccination and is expected to be okay, officials said.

Bats are the most common carrier of rabies in Michigan, according to a release.   A person is considered exposed to rabies if they are in the same room as an animal that tests positive for the virus.

“Rabies is a fatal virus found in the saliva of infected animals. It is usually transmitted by bite or scratch. Fewer than ten people die annually in the United States because of the availability of anti-rabies treatment and due to the careful evaluation of potential exposures by local health departments,” a release from the department says.

Officials say dead bats can be submitted for rabies testing as long as the skull is intact.   Anyone with questions about rabies testing can contact the health department at 269-373-5267.