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A rabid brown bat is Michigan's first confirmed case of rabies in 2017.

Michigan Confirms First Rabies This Year

Health officials with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development say that they have confirmed the state’s first case of rabies this year. It was found in a big brown bat in Ingham County.

This is right about the time of year that Michigan should be seeing its first rabies, said the Department in its news release.

Big brown bats, which are known scientifically asĀ Eptesicus fuscus, are well-known carriers of the disease, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or the handling of infected bats. But they are also important to the agriculture industry, thanks to their appetite for insects that can devastate food crops.

Last year in Michigan, bats made up 37 of the 41 known cases of animal rabies.