Bats test positive for rabies

Three bats, two in St. Joseph County and one in Branch County, have tested positive for rabies, Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency Prevention Services Director Yvonne Atwood said last week.

Atwood said more than a dozen bats have been tested this year.

Six bats from Hillsdale County were tested, but none came back positive for the viral disease of mammals that is transmitted through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Bats and skunks are the most common carriers of the disease in Michigan.

If a bat is found with an unattended child or impaired adult who cannot be sure they didn’t have contact with the bat, in these cases, it is important to collect the bat for rabies testing, Atwood said.

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