Rabies is an infectious viral disease that affects the nervous system of humans and other mammals. People get rabies from the bite of an animal with rabies (a rabid animal). Any wild mammal, like a skunk, feral cat, fox, coyote, or bat, can have rabies and transmit it to people.
Because rabies is a fatal disease, the goal of public health is, first, to prevent human exposure to rabies by education and, second, to prevent the disease by anti-rabies treatment if exposure occurs. Tens of thousands of people are successfully treated each year after being bitten by an animal that may have rabies.
Rabies is a medical urgency not an emergency, but decisions must not be delayed. Any wounds should be immediately washed and medical attention from a health care professional should be sought for any trauma due to an animal attack before considering the need for rabies vaccination
- Have you been bitten by an animal? Had a close encounter with a bat?
The Health Department receives reports of animal bites, coordinates and approves the testing of animals (including bats) for rabies, and tracks what types of animals are positive for rabies in Washtenaw County.
- Rabies fact sheet: Information on preventing rabies.
- Humane Society of Huron Valley:
Offers animal rescue, sheltering of stray and abandoned animals, pet adoption, animal vaccination, and pet sterilization.
Responds to animal nuisance complaints and picks up stray animals.
- Did you find a dead bird?
Call the West Nile hotline at (734) 544-6750 or visit the webpage.