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Bat tests positive for rabies in Van Buren County, the first in 5 years

Van Buren Cass District Health Department
Posted at 5:28 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 17:28:53-04

LAWRENCE, Mich. — A bat in Van Buren County has tested positive for rabies.

The Van Buren/Cass District Health Department says this is the first case of rabies found in a Van Buren County bat since 2016.

We’re told rabies is a virus that targets the brain and nervous system, which often results in death. County health officials say rabies is usually found in bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes. Unvaccinated animals are also vulnerable to the disease.

Symptoms include aggression, nervousness, drooling, foaming at the mouth, and odd behavior, experts say.

Health officials say humans are also vulnerable to rabies if bitten by an animal that carries the disease or if that animal’s saliva contacts fresh wounds, mouth, nose or eyes.

Those who are bitten by a bat are asked not to release it if possible, and instead save it for testing. Experts advise recently bitten individuals to receive medical attention as soon as possible.

Pets and livestock should be vaccinated against rabies, including animals that usually remain indoors, county health officials advise.

Visit VBCDHD’s website or call 269-621-3143 if you think you or an animal has been exposed to rabies.

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