Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health says there's been an increase in reported wild animal bites.
That means an increased risk for rabies and an expensive medical bill.
Rabies is a disease that affects the brain and nervous system and can be fatal.
Rabies is carried in the saliva of infected animals like bats and raccoons and all it takes is a bite or scratch to transfer to humans or pets.
That's why Vector Control strongly recommends vaccinating pets.
If infected, a rabies shot can cost up to $9,000 and if left untreated it could be deadly.
Vector Control and environmental services says the most common carrier of rabies in the Midwest are bats.
Four bats were recently found in Allen County that tested positive for rabies.
Bats often hide-out in basements and attics, but can end-up inside.
If you find a bat or any other wild animal in or around your home---don't go near it.
David Fiess, Director of Vector Control says, "Those wild animals are not domesticated and when they're cornered they're going to defend themselves. They're going to lash out and they're going to bite, so it's best to leave them alone or contact a professional to have them removed."
If you or someone you know gets bitten, squeeze the wound to try and force the blood and saliva out. Call wildlife control or animal care and control so they can remove the animal and test it for rabies. Go to the doctor to get tested for rabies yourself.
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