ALLEGAN, Mich. — A bat tested positive for rabies in Allegan County, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Friday.
The department urges residents to stay away from wild animals, including skunks, bats, raccoons, foxes and stray cats and dogs.
If any animal bites you or your household pet, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical or veterinary attention.
Rabies is found in the saliva of affected animals and spreads through bites and scratches.
Residents are encouraged to make sure their homes are “bat proof” with the following tips:
- Carefully examine your home for any holes that might allow bats entry into living quarters.
- Caulk any openings larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch.
- Use window screens, chimney caps and draft guards beneath doors to attics.
- Fill electrical and plumbing holes with stainless steel wool or caulking.
- Ensure all doors to the outside close tightly.
Covering outside entry points can also help prevent bats from roosting in attics.
Vaccinating pets regularly can protect them if exposed to animals with the disease and prevent them from becoming ill and infecting humans.