MUSKEGON, Mich. — The first bat to test positive for rabies in Muskegon County this year was found in a home recently, a reminder that encounters with bats are not uncommon but could be dangerous.
Public Health – Muskegon County released the new development, along with information on how sick bats can spread rabies to pets and humans.
To pass on the viral disease – which can kill – an infected animal can bite a subject or just scratch them.
Pets should have their rabies vaccinations up to date, and people should avoid contact with bats, even if they are found in the home.
In fact, a bat in a home may be an indication it’s sick. MHMC noted that sick bats don’t behave normally: they are more likely to encounter people, might be active during the day, or might be unable to fly.
While you should avoid contact with a bat in the home, it’s still important to find a way to collect or confine it and call your local health department so it can be determined if it needs to be tested for rabies. In Muskegon County, the health department number is 231-724-1204.