Third animal with rabies found in Genesee County this year
GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A bat from the Gaines area was the third animal from Genesee County confirmed to have rabies this year.
The Genesee County Health Department says the three animals all came from different areas, but the presence of rabies presents a reminder for owners to keep their pets current on vaccinations. Everyone also is advised to avoid wild, stray or dead animals.
Rabies affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. The illness is transmitted through the bite, scratch or saliva of an infected animal.
Treatment is available if it begins shortly after exposure, but rabies can be fatal if left untreated.
The health department recommends the following measures to prevent rabies:
- Treat every potential exposure very seriously, including when a bat is found in the home. Bats should be captured or collected if possible to submit for testing.
- If bitten or scratched by a wild animal, immediately wash the wound with soap and hot water. Call a doctor or public health officials for further guidance.
- Keep pets' vaccinations up to date and keep them under close supervision.
- Keep pets and children away from any stray, wild and dead animals -- even if they appear friendly.
- Seal attics, crawl spaces and other openings around the home to prevent wild animals and bats from taking up residence.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources maintains a list of contractors permitted to remove nuisance animals.
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