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Rabid Skunk Confirmed in Chester County; Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Kershaw County; Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Charleston County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 31, 2020

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed:

  • a skunk located near Ashford Road and Mountain Lakes Road in Chester in Chester County has tested positive for rabies; no known exposures. The skunk was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on July 29 and was confirmed to have rabies on July 30.
  • a raccoon located near Wild Turkey Lane and Old River Road in Camden in Kershaw County has tested positive for rabies; one dog was exposed to this rabid raccoon. The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on July 28 and was confirmed to have rabies on July 29.
  • a raccoon located near Honeysuckle Lane and Seccessionville Road in Charleston in Charleston County has tested positive for rabies; two dogs were exposed to this rabid raccoon. The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on July 29 and was confirmed to have rabies on July 30.

Please contact DHEC if you know of any possible human or animal exposure. 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. Exposure is defined as a bite, scratch, or contact with saliva or body fluids from an infected animal.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space," said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division. "If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it as the possibility of exposure to rabies can occur anywhere and anytime. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator."

If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet could have been exposed to rabies and contact your local DHEC's Environmental Affairs office during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). To report a bite or exposure on holidays or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number at (888) 847-0902.

It is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year.

Contact information for local Bureau of Environmental Health Services offices is available at www.scdhec.gov/EAoffices. For more information on rabies, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.

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