Health Department discusses rabies 9.17

Written by David Green.

Several Fulton County residents have had to begin a series of post-exposure rabies shots due to encounters with bats and a raccoon.

One individual was bitten while removing a burr from the fur of a baby raccoon, while another reached out for what appeared to be a piece of paper and was startled when a bat bit her finger.  Others have awakened to find bats in their bedrooms. In each case, the animals were not available to be tested and could potentially carry rabies.

The individuals bitten are under the care of a physician and are receiving a series of five injected doses of vaccine.  Infection with the rabies virus can be deadly. In 2007, 86 animals in Ohio were confirmed positive for rabies. Bats were the most commonly confirmed rabid animal, with 66 reported positive.

Rabies is typically found in wildlife, such as bats, skunks, and raccoons, but family pets can contract rabies from contact with rabid wildlife. It is important for all pet owners to make sure that their pets are properly immunized. The rabies virus attacks the nerves and brain tissue of most animals. Sick animals spread the virus through saliva. People and animals can be infected when the virus-laden saliva gets into a wound, usually through a bite.

For indoor bat encounters, first determine if there has been any possibility of person or pet contact, such as a bite or scratch, with the bat or if the bat may have been in close proximity to an unattended young child or sleeping or impaired person, or was in a room with an unattended pet. If such possibilities cannot be ruled out, a professional animal control company should be contacted to capture the bat. Bats can be tested for rabies if the head is not severely damaged.

If professional help is unavailable, use the following precautions to capture the bat safely without damaging its head.  Close windows, the door to the room and closet doors, and wait for the bat to land.  Wearing gloves, cover the bat with a coffee can or similar container. Slide a piece of cardboard under the can trapping the bat, and tape the cardboard tightly to the can. Contact the Fulton County Health Department at 419/337-0915 to arrange examination of the bat.

If you have confirmed that there was no possibility of human or domestic animal contact, it can be allowed to leave on its own. Close the room and closet doors, open windows, and observe the bat until it leaves.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016