Reports of rabies are always alarming, let's face it. The latest instance of a bat rabies outbreak in Ontario was announced this week, and it's affecting the Halton Region. In fact, it was confirmed by the Halton Region Health Department on Thursday that the cities of Oakville and Burlington have both been affected.\nHalton Region is advising residents who may have had contact with bats recently to contact the Health Department by calling 311.\nMeanwhile, a wildlife expert was quick to highlight the hidden dangers posed by bat rabies.\nThe biggest problem? Assessing whether a bat has rabies or not.\n"We're not going to be able to tell if something is wrong with that bat until they are tested," said Jared Houliston, President of Ontario Wildlife Removal Inc., to Narcity. "It's not like raccoons or skunks that have rabies (and) you can notice there's something wrong."\nHouliston added: "Bats can carry rabies and you wouldn't know a healthy bat to a rabid bat, and that's why when people are in contact with them, they do need to go for testing."\nAccording to the Health Department's news release, "these are the first two confirmed cases of rabies in Halton this year." However, they're not Ontario's.\nLast week, Peel Region was struck when it was reported that bats with rabies were found in Brampton.\nAccording to information given to Narcity by the Halton Region Health Department, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs states there is a low risk - estimated at two to three percent - of finding rabies in bats anywhere in the province.*\n"The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with bats and other wild animals," said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, in the news release.\n"Anyone who comes in physical contact with a bat or other wild animal should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department."\nView this post on Instagram Acerodon celebensis mother and pup. A large and endemic (not found anywhere else in the world) fruit bat, responsible for pollination of the popular (and stinky) durian fruit. These gentle and unique mammals are threatened by extinction due to inhumane and unsustainable hunting for bushmeat. #celebes #celebensis #sulawesi #indonesia #wildlife #threatenedspecies #mother #babybat #pollinators #durianfruit #durian #wings #skypuppies @natgeo @extinctionrebellion @wildlife @nature_org @nature @australiangeographic @unenvironment A post shared by Sarah's Bats (@sarahsbats) on Jun 5, 2019 at 5:05am PDT\nThe Halton Region is warning residents that, if in contact, this viral disease can cause severe damage to the brain and spinal cord, and can be fatal.\nWhether it's a bite or scratch, the virus can be spread. However, the consequences can be prevented through vaccination after symptoms appear.\nThe severity of this is no joke.\nJust last month, a 21-year-old man died in B.C. after contracting rabies from an infected bat. He came in contact with a bat in May but was unaware he was infected until he noticed symptoms creeping in six weeks later.\nView this post on Instagram Then there's this cute little guy; he doesn't look too happy though! I think we woke him 🤗 A post shared by Ontario Wildlife Removal (@ontariowildliferemoval) on Aug 14, 2017 at 5:32am PDT\nIf you do come across a bat and are unsure how to tell if they are infected, Halton Health has some tips. They could move pretty slow, are unable to fly, are awake during daytime hours while most bats are nocturnal, and show little to no response to loud noises.\nAccording to this Houliston, the chances of coming into contact with a bat are generally higher if you find one in your attic than if you're out and about.\n"They're not in front of people's faces like a bird, or a squirrel, or a dog that's right there with you," he added.\nEven so, you should really be sure to take the proper precautions if you come across any wild animal.\n*This article has been updated.