Health officials issues warning after bat found in Detroit's Palmer Park tests positive for rabies

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Officials with the Institute for Population Health are warning people to be careful around wildlife after it was determined that a sick bat found in Palmer Park had rabies.

The bat was found on April 27. Health officials say this is the second bat that has tested positive for rabies in Michigan this year.

While bats are the most common source of rabies in Michigan, wild animals ranging from skunks and foxes to woodchucks have been known to become infected. In rare cases, rabies has also been found in unvaccinated domestic pets.

Health officials say people who have potentially be exposed to a rabid animal should seek medical attention immediately, so that they can receive the appropriate treatment and vaccinations.

While anyone bitten by a domestic animal that is up-to-date on its rabies vaccines should be all right without the rabies treatment, they should still be examined by a medical professional to evaluate their need for a tetanus booster shot and wound care.

The Institute for Population Health has issued the following guidelines to residents and visitors to the city of Detroit:

  • Do not handle wild or stray animals
  • Report stray animals or bat exposures to the City of Detroit Animal Control Department at (313) 224-6356
  • Call the IPH¬†Communicable Disease program at (313) 324-9680 to report a bite by a stray, wild and/or unvaccinated animals
  • Tell children not to touch, pet or play with animals they don't know
  • Keep your pets up-to-date-on their rabies vaccinations
  • Seek medical attention if you are bitten by an animal and be sure to tell your doctor if the animal was wild, stray or not vaccinated against rabies
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