• Humans and White-Nose SyndromeThere is no evidence that WNS is infectious to humans. The fungus does not grow at temperatures above 68°F, which are much lower than human body temperature. Although most bats are not rabid, bats are the primary rabies positive animal in Michigan and exposure to a live bat should be avoided. A dead bat should only be handled with a protected (gloved) hand. If there is a potential exposure to a bat (touching a bat with an unprotected hand, waking up with a bat in the room, or a bat found in a room with a child or impaired individual), it should be tested for rabies. Contact your local health department for procedures to follow to submit the animal for testing.
The loss of large numbers of bats may have an indirect impact on human health. Bats are a primary predator of nighttime insects and large scale losses of bats may lead to an increase in insect populations. These increases may result in damage to crops, which may lead to an increase in pesticide use and application that can impact the environment. Some insects act as vectors of zoonotic diseases and an increase in insect populations may lead to an increase in the spread of such diseases.