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Health officials offer guidance after rabid bat is found in Ann Arbor home

Posted at 5:28 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 18:04:16-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — A bat with rabies has been found in a home in Ann Arbor, according to Washtenaw County health officials who tested the bat.

The home is located in the 48108 zip code, and health officials are using the rabid bat case to urge residents who find a bat in their home to contact them about the next steps to take.

Health officials said, first, do not let the bat out of the house.

"I know that might be a lot of people's first instinct - to just get the bat out of their house. The important thing is to not do that," said Beth Ann Hamilton, Communications Coordinator for the Washtenaw County Health Department. "Make sure to contact the local health department so we can talk through what your next steps should be. If there is a risk of rabies, we need that Bat for testing. So it's really important not to let it go."

If you live in Washtenaw County and find a bat in your home during business hours of 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, please call 734-544-6700.

If you reside outside of Washtenaw County, please contact your local health department.

If someone has been bitten, please contact the nearest emergency department.

Hamilton said bats can enter a home through holes the size of a dime, so it's important to regularly check for small openings - especially in older homes.

Health officials also urge people to keep all pets, including cats, dogs, ferrets, and horses, up to date on rabies vaccines.