Officials urge owners to protect pets, livestock from rabies



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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials are warning Michigan residents to protect their families, pets and livestock from rabies.

Rabies is a viral disease transmitted by a bite from an infected animal. It can be fatal to humans without proper treatment. Once symptoms show up, it's too late.

A number of mammal species can be rabies carriers, including bats and skunks. Scientists say bats are the most frequently infected species in Michigan.

Dr. Eden Wells of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says if you find a bat in your home, you should confine it and contact your local health department to see if you were exposed to rabies.

Dogs, cats, ferrets, horses and some livestock can be vaccinated against the disease.

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Online: http://www.michigan.gov/rabies

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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