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Two More Exposed To Rabies

Pickens and Lexington counties

July 26, 2019 - 3:39 pm
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Provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmentail Control.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported today that one person in Pickens County and one person in Lexington County have been referred to their health care providers after coming into contact with foxes that tested positive for rabies.

• Pickens County: The victim was attacked by a fox in Pickens on July 23. The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on July 23 and was confirmed to have rabies on July 24.

• Lexington County: The victim was attacked by a fox in Gilbert on July 24. The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on July 24 and was confirmed to have rabies on July 25.

"Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies," said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator," said Vaughan.

It is also important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from this fatal disease.

If you have reason to believe that you, your family members, or your pets have come into contact with either of these foxes, or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Greenville office at (864) 372-3273 or Lexington Office at (803) 896-0620 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). Be sure to immediately wash any part of your body that may have come into contact with saliva or neural tissue with plenty of soap and water and seek medical attention. To report a bite or exposure on holidays and/or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number (888) 847-0902.

The Pickens County fox was the first animal in Pickens County to test positive for rabies in 2019. In 2018, four of the 100 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Pickens County.

The Lexington County fox was the 12th animal in Lexington County to test positive for rabies in 2019. In 2018, seven of the 100 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Lexington County.

There have been 85 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2013, South Carolina has averaged approximately 108 positive cases a year.

 

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