Are Shark Attacks on the Rise?

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Are shark attacks on the rise? They are certainly in the news. But experts don't agree on whether the number is going up long term. Climate change plays a role -- sharks like warmer water. And there are just more people at the beach -- so more opportunities for shark-human "interactions."

To reduce your risk of a shark encounter:

Stay in a group. Sharks are more likely to attack when you're alone.

Don't get in the water at dusk or at night. Sharks are most active then.

If you're bleeding, stay out of the water.

Don't wear shiny jewelry or bright swimwear.

Don't splash around a lot.

Watch out if you're between sandbars or near a drop-off. Those are prime shark hangouts.

And of course, if you see a shark, get out of the water! If one does bite you, fight back. Hit it on the nose, hard, and go for its eyes and gills. If that sounds scary, here's some perspective: You're 33 times more likely to get bitten by a dog than by "Jaws." So don't let a fear of fins keep you away from the beach. For WebMD, I'm Dr. Michael Smith.