Rabies Cases in South Carolina

Officials with South Carolina department of Health and Environmental control says three people in Kershaw County and six people Greenwood County have been referred to health care providers for preventive treatment after being exposed to rabies. A stray cat in Camden exposed three people during separate incidents on July 21 and July 22 before being captured. The cat was confirmed rabid by lab tests on July 23. An unvaccinated pet dog in Ware Shoals exposed six people to rabies on July 21. The dog also tested positive for the disease on July 23. Both incidents involved exposures to people and other animals. These exposures serve to remind residents of the dangers of this potentially deadly disease. There have been 11 positive cases of rabies so far this month in S.C., including one case involving an unvaccinated dog and two cases involving unvaccinated cats. Sandra Craig of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services says contact with wild animals, particularly raccoons, foxes, bats and, and skunks is the primary way people, domestic animals, and livestock come in contact with the virus. The virus is fatal once it reaches the brain. In the event you are bitten or scratched by a what may be a rabid animal or if you get the animal’s saliva in a wound, wash the area immediately with soap and water, seek medical attention, and report the incident to DHEC. Last year there were 124 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in South Carolina.