When the weather starts to warm up, many of us will want to get outside to enjoy spending time in nature and seeing all the various animals that roam around.

But scientists are urging caution to avoid being scratched or bitten by a rabid animal.

Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease mostly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.

While 4 million Americans report being bitten by an animal each year, there are less than 3 reported deaths from rabies.

To keep yourself safe, be sure to leave wildlife alone and wash any bites or scratches immediately with soap and water.

Talk with a healthcare provider if you think that you’ve been exposed.

And lastly, be sure to vaccinate your pets to protect both them and your family.