Genesee County, Michigan. (WJRT) – A bat from the Gaines area was the third animal in Genesee County to have confirmed rabies this year.
The Janes County Health Department says the three animals all came from different areas, but the presence of rabies presents a reminder to owners to keep their pets on vaccination. Everyone is also advised to avoid wild, stray or dead animals.
Rabies affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. The disease is transmitted through the bite, scratch or saliva of the infected animal.
Treatment is available if treatment starts soon, but rabies can be fatal if left untreated.
The Department of Health recommends the following measures to prevent rabies:
- Understand every possible exposure very seriously, including when a bat has been found at home. The bats must be captured or collected if they can be presented for testing.
- If a wild animal has bitten or scratched, wash the wound immediately with soap and warm water. Call a doctor or public health officials for further guidance.
- Keep pet vaccinations up to date and keep them under close supervision.
- Keep pets and children away from any stray, wild and dead animals – even if they look friendly.
- Seal atics, crawl space and other openings around the house to prevent wild animals and bats from taking up residence.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has a list of contractors allowed to remove nuisance animals.
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