dogsMost people associate rabies with two things: dogs—and many scary vaccines. That could be because for most of those in developed countries, rabies is something that kills people in faraway places or something people should vaccinate their pets against—not something they worry about catching themselves.

Fortunately, the fact that people think about the vaccine instead of just fearing the disease means humans are very blessed. In some countries, however, rabies is anything but history. Thousands of people die every year because of it.

Here are some other facts you ought to know about rabies:

FACT #1: Dogs are Not the Only Animals that Carry Rabies

Contrary to what many people think, dogs are not the only animals that spread rabies. Even cats, monkeys, bats, and other mammals can carry the virus. Rats, in particular, can get the disease, but they usually die quickly and do not have the capability to spread it anymore.

FACT #2: Sometimes You Don’t Know You Already Have It

In the United States, bats are the most common carriers of the virus. They sneak in homes, and because they are small, they hide in common areas of the house, such as the bed. Dogs and cats may also bring in a sick bat. Sometimes, while you are trying to get one out of the house, or while you’re sleeping, you may get a bite and don’t know about it until it’s too late.

Jolley’s Compounding Pharmacy, the pharmacy based in Utah, recommends bat proofing your home, and rabies proofing yourself.

FACT #3: Rabies is Nearly Always Fatal

There is no cure for rabies. Vaccination is the only way—at this time—to prevent the disease. Humans who especially work in rabies-exposed jobs should get one. Law varies in the US, but vaccination for dogs and cats is a requirement.

Also, there is no way for medical practitioners to diagnose rabies definitely before death. They can only diagnose it by examining brain tissue from a deceased patient.

As much as everyone wishes it to be so, rabies is not a thing of the past. Someone in the world dies from this disease every passing minute. Knowing these facts can prevent you from being part of that frightening statistic.