The majority of rabies cases in the US come from bats, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Wednesday.
Dogs were once the most dangerous carriers of the life-threatening disease.
But times have changed, and bats are now responsible for seven out of 10 rabies cases.
Although about 5,000 rabid animals are reported each year in the US, only between one and three cases are reported in humans, an encouraging statistic that the CDC attributes to pet vaccination.
Beware the day bat: Rabid bats, which may act erratically and be overly active in the daytime are now the leading source of the life threatening infection, the CDC warns
It's rare now, but rabies is a terrifying disease.
The potent virus is nearly always fatal to humans exposed to it and the disease quickly passes the point of no return.
Rabies is passed through saliva, so humans most commonly get it from animal bites of some form or other.
The virus swiftly attacks the nervous system, causing animals - or people - to convulse and become confused and even act 'mad' and erratic.
A classic depiction of a rabid animal is of a dog, foaming at the mouth, but not all infected animals do.
In fact, bats don't have these obvious physical symptoms.
Instead, the CDC advises people to watch out for bats that are doing things bats don't normally.
For example, bats are nocturnal animals, so if you see one flying around in the daytime, there's likely something off about the animal - and it just might be rabies.
Or, if a bat is struggling to fly and flailing a yard, it's best to avoid it.
Bats have emerged as the leading rabies threat only in relatively recent years.
That's primarily because rabid dogs were a significant