The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed the first case of rabies found in Michigan in 2017.

Rabies was found in a big brown bat from Ingham County.

Rabies is a viral disease in mammals that is transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. This is around the time of the year when rabies is usually first discovered in Michigan. In 2016, there were 41 cases of rabies in Michigan wildlife. 37 cases were found in bats and four were found in skunks.

Rabies is fatal to humans if not properly treated. Preventive treatment is given to people who are exposed to a potentially rabid animal. Treatment is not necessary if an animal tests negative for rabies.

Pets may be vaccinated against rabies and both people and pets should be immediately treated if bitten or scratched by a potentially rabies-infected animal.

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