Rabies is a life-threatening disease that can be transmitted only amongst mammals. This disease attacks the central nervous system, causing infected animals to act abnormally. If not addressed immediately, this disease can be deadly, however timely treatment after exposure is 100% effective.\nOne of the most common and earliest symptoms of rabies is a fever or warmth \/ tingling at the area where the person or animal was bitten. Those infected may not display symptoms of rabies right away. It can take one to three months for symptoms such as abnormal behavior or confusion to show, however, some people and animals can exhibit symptoms within days of being bitten. For this reason, it\u2019s important to act immediately and receive medical attention shortly after contact.\nOver 90% of reported rabies cases are caused by bites from wild animals. It is very rare that pets are affected by this disease, as most pet owners have their animals vaccinated to protect them from contracting the disease.\nAmongst these wild animals, raccoons are the most commonly infected. Other cases have been reported involving bats, skunks, foxes and coyotes. Although it\u2019s unusual, other mammals can also carry this disease including rats, squirrels and groundhogs.\nHow to Protect Yourself from Rabies\n\nNever approach or feed a wild animal\nBe careful of pets that you aren\u2019t familiar with\nVaccinate your pets\nIf you see an animal acting strangely, call your local animal control center\nSeek immediate medical treatment for any animal bite\nScrub any bite would immediately with soap and water and flush the wound thoroughly\nIf you encounter a bat in your home, it is recommended to assume that you may have unknowingly been bitten and seek medical treatment\n\nIf you or a loved one have been bitten or scratched by a wild animal, it\u2019s important to seek medical attention right away. No appointments are needed to visit any UPMC Urgent Care center. Get checked out and receive the treatment you need, when you need it most urgently.