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Increase in Requests to Test for Rabies

Wednesday September 13, 2023

The BHSJ has seen an increase in calls and requests for rabies testing of bats that have been found in homes

Bats are an important part of a healthy ecosystem and are a natural predator of mosquitoes, and are not the only potential carrier for rabies.

Any wild or un-vaccinated domestic animal has the potential to carry the rabies virus. The rabies virus lives in the saliva of infected animals. It is usually spread from animal to animal or from animal to human through a bite. You can take these simple steps to protect yourself and your pets:

There are situations in which a person could be bitten by a bat and not know it. If you find a bat in a room with a sleeping person, an unattended child, a mentally impaired person, or an intoxicated person, or you know you were bitten or scratched by a bat, a wild animal, unknown dog, or unknown cat, take the following steps right away:

Rabies can be fatal to humans if left untreated. Post exposure treatment is given to people who are exposed to a potentially rabid animal. Treatment is not necessary if the animal tests negative for rabies. More information about rabies and a map of rabies positive animals in Michigan can be found at Michigan.gov/rabies.


The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is committed to promoting wellness, preventing disease, providing health care, and protecting the environment.

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