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Rabid Bats in Ann Arbor

An Ann Arbor family was recently treated for rabies after a bat found in the home tested positive for the disease. There is no evidence at this point that anyone in the family was actually bitten; the family noticed the bat flying in the house on August 3rd and upon returning a few days later, found the bat dead. The family turned the bat over to the Health Department, who said that the bat did indeed test positive for rabies. If a bat is found dead in the home, the Health Department will usually recommend rabies treatment, since it is sometimes difficult to tell whether or not a person has been bitten.

This is the third rabid bat that has been found in Ann Arbor this year. Rabies in bats is usually very rare; it is estimated that only 5% of all bats carry the disease. Humans getting rabies from bats is even more rare – since 1960, only 40 human deaths have been linked to rabies contracted from bats.

Some think rabies among bats may be on the rise. In 2010, two bats tested positive for rabies in Washtenaw County. In 2009, no bats were found with rabies, and in 2008, two bats tested positive. Without having access to larger bat populations for testing, it is hard to say. Rabies has been on the rise in Washtenaw County among other mammals, however.

There is no easy way to tell if a bat is rabid just by observing it; rabies can be confirmed only by having the animal tested in a laboratory.

If you think you may have been bitten by a bat, seek treatment for rabies. Because bats have small teeth and claws, it is possible to be bitten by a bat and not know it. Therefore, if you find you’ve been sleeping in the same room with a bat you should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have found a bat in your home, call Creature Control’s bat removal experts.

The early symptoms of rabies in people are similar to that of many other illnesses, including fever, headache, and general weakness or discomfort. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear and may include insomnia, anxiety, confusion, slight or partial paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hypersalivation (increase in saliva), difficulty swallowing, and hydrophobia (fear of water). Death usually occurs within days of the onset of these symptoms. Though it is extremely rare to contract rabies from an encounter with a bat, the severity of the disease makes it a prudent idea to seek treatment for rabies if you have come in close contact with a bat.

Call Creature Control at 1-800-441-1519 for professional bat removal for bats in Ann Arbor!