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Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Lancaster County and Rabid Bat Confirmed in Pickens County; One Person and Two Pets Exposed


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that:

  • a raccoon found near Britt Lane and Ligon Road in Richburg, S.C. has tested positive for rabies. No people are known to have been exposed at this time. One dog was exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
  • a bat found near Silver Ridge Drive and Silver Crest Drive in Central, S.C., also tested positive for rabies. One person was potentially exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider. One cat was exposed and will also be quarantined as required in the Rabies Control Act. 

The Lancaster County raccoon and the Pickens County bat were both submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on May 2, 2022, and were confirmed to have rabies on May 3, 2022.

“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or wildlife rehabilitator.” An exposure is defined as direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal. If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies.

If you believe that you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to these or other suspect animals, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Lancaster office at (803) 285-7461 or Greenville office at (864) 372-3273 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).

It is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination which is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. The raccoon is the first  animal in Lancaster County to test positive for rabies in 2022. The bat from Pickens County is the fifth animal to test positive for rabies in that county in 2022. There have been 25 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2021, of the 101 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina, five were from Lancaster County, and eight were from Pickens County. 

Contact information for local Environmental Affairs offices is available at For more information on rabies visit, or