State health officials are warning people to take precautions after a bat found in a Detroit park tests positive for rabies.
The bat, which was unable to fly, was tested after it was discovered in Palmer Park April 24. According to the Michigan Department of Community Health this is the second bat that has tested positive for the disease in Michigan this year and is the first rabid animal to be found in Detroit since 2011.
Bats are a common source of rabies in the state while other animals like skunks, foxes etc. have also been known to be infected. The rabies virus is usually transmitted from animal to animal however humans can become infected through animal bites or other close contact.
The Institute for Population Health is advising residents and visitors to Detroit to help prevent and protect against rabies with the following guidelines:
-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 if you are bitten by a stray, wild or unvaccinated animal.
-Advise children not to touch, pet or play with animals they do not know.
-Ensure pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations.