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Ionia County Residents Being Treated After Handling Rabid Bat

Northern long-eared bat photo
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Wikimedia Commons
Northern long-eared bat

The Ionia County Health Department confirmed several people are being treated for rabies after handling a rabid bat.

The health department issued a release Monday that said the bat was found in Portland on East Grand Avenue on June 6.

One person was bitten and several other people handled the animal. All are receiving 4 injections of rabies vaccine over a 2-week period.

Rabies is a deadly disease that attacks the nervous system.

It occurs in wild bats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes and foxes. Domesticated animals like dogs, cats and cattle can also be infected if they have not been vaccinated.

Chris Simon is the communicable diseases nurse at Ionia County Health Department. She says if you see wild animal or a dog or cat that’s not acting right or is acting ill, call animal control.

“If you’re exposed to a bat, call your local health department and they can arrange for testing. And for gosh sakes please everybody get their pets vaccinated for rabies. Including cats. Now dogs, you have to get your dogs vaccinated for rabies because it’s required for licensing.”


Simons says this is the 13th rabid bat in Michigan so far this season.


If you have any questions about animals or exposure, call the Ionia County Health Department at 616.527.5341 Ext. 295.

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