Ingham County bat has Michigan’s 1st case of rabies in 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan’s first known case of rabies this year has been confirmed. Authorities say a big brown bat in Ingham County tested positive for the illness, which can be fatal to humans.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says rabies cases start turning up this time of year. The viral disease is transmitted through a bite or scratch from an infected animal.

Bats and skunks are the most common carriers in Michigan, where 41 cases were reported in 2016.

Pets and domestic livestock should be vaccinated. You can protect yourself by avoiding contact with wild animals and seeking medical attention if bitten or scratched by an animal.

If you find a bat in your home, collect or confine it and contact the local health department.

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