DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Officials say a bat that was found crawling and unable to fly in a Detroit park has tested positive for rabies.
The Institute for Population Health said the bat was euthanized after being found April 24 in Palmer Park and testing came back last week from the state. Palmer Park is located at Woodward Avenue and McNichols on the city’s northwest side.
The Michigan Department of Community Health reported it’s the second bat that has tested positive for rabies in Michigan this year.
Angela Minicuci with the state health department says the bat, which was found in Palmer Park, was euthanized.
“This is the second positive bat in Michigan this year, 2013, and actually the second animal total for 2013,” said Minicuci. “To keep this in perspective last year we reported a total of 61 animals in Michigan, being that we only have two so far for 2013 that’s a good sign.”
Officials are warning people to take precautions to prevent the possible spread of rabies. The rabies virus usually is transmitted from animal to animal. Humans can become infected through animal bites or other close contact, so if you come across a stray animal, do not touch it and call animal control immediately.
According to state health officials, bats are the species of animal most often found to be positive for rabies in Michigan — although the rate of rabies in the general population of bats is still thought to be less than 1 percent.
There are rabies vaccines available and rabies can be prevented by reducing your exposure to unvaccinated animals, unfamiliar animals, and wild animals for which vaccines do not exist. There is no treatment available once a person or animal shows signed of the disease. [Get more information].
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