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Summer months bring rabies danger to Michigan

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Michigan recently saw its first case of rabies this year in an Ingham county bat. Now health officials are offering tips to protect people and pets from the disease.  

This time of year is typically when the state’s first reported case of rabies occurs.

 

State officials said the most common carriers of rabies in Michigan are bats and skunks. Last year there were 41 reported animal cases.

 

Jessy Sielski is with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He said pets are often susceptible to rabies.

 

“The most important thing is to vaccinate your pets from rabies. If they do come into contact with wildlife it’s always good to have them check out by a veterinarian to determine, even if they have been vaccinated whether or not additional steps might need to be taken.”

 

Sielski said people are also at risk.

 

“If you come in contact with a wild animal if you’re bitten or scratched consult with your healthcare provider as soon as possible, it is fatal if not treated properly so it’s important to be checked out as soon as possible and take precautionary measures.”

 

Sielski said not to bring wild animals into your home because they can carry rabies without showing any signs.

A full list of tips to protect from rabies is at MDARD's website.