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Rabies in Bats and Other Nuisance Wildlife

Rabies is a preventable viral infection located in the central nervous system usually committed through interactions with mammals. Generally rabies are contracted through a bite but sometimes can be contracted through infectious saliva that enters into your eyes, mouth, or open wounds. if a bat is just flying around in your home or in a room you can not contract rabies unless you come in contact with it by a bite or possibly a scratch. Coming into contact with bat guano (feces) or urine you cannot contract this viral infection. In fact less than 1% of all bats ever tested actually come back positive with rabies. Even though the likeliness of a bat having rabies is small it is still highly recommended to have post contact vaccination. See your local physician for more details. If you have a bat in the house while you are sleeping or if you have young children you should contact your local health department for information on post contact vaccination. More information on the rabies virus visit the batcon.org website. For positive cases of rabies in Michigan visit Michigan.gov.

Important Information About a Bat in the House

Has the bat come in contact with you are anyone in the Home? If so you need to assume the bat has rabies, even though the chances are unlikely. Young children, heavy sleepers or intoxicated adults may not know they have been bitten, due to the fact bat bites are very small and may not be detected. Here's a few questions to consider, and if any are true it is recommended to seek medical help.

  • Was the bat found in a room where someone was sleeping?
  • Are there young children of the age where they can not communicate?
  • Did your dog or cat come in contact with the bat?

At this point if any of these happen it is important to capture the bat and have it tested for rabies. Most local health departments will take in the bat if it is captured and secured. If anyone has been in contact with the bat it is important you seek medical attention and receive rabies shot.