Protect yourself and your pet during peak rabies season

NEGAUNEE– It’s peak season for rabies, so make sure you and your furry companions are safe.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development want to remind you to report all animal bites to your local health department so the animals can be tested for rabies.

Rabies is a neurological disease that is almost always fatal. One way to spot a rabid animal is to look for animals acting differently. For example, if you see a nocturnal animal out and about in daylight, there’s a chance it’s rabid.

Even though rabies is dangerous, it is very rare in the Upper Peninsula.

“We haven’t had an animal that has tested positive for rabies in the U.P in many years,” said the Director of Environmental Health at the Marquette County Health Department Patrick Jacuzzo.

Jacuzzo said that rabies is most commonly seen in bats. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of August 8th of this year, 21 animals in Michigan were discovered to be rabid and 17 of those were bats.

If there is a bat in your home, do not try to handle it. If for any reason you do touch it or were sleeping in a room with a bat, call animal control and have it submitted for testing. And if you’re bit by any animal, go to urgent care immediately.

Jacuzzo says the easiest way to protect against the disease is vaccination.