Rabid Fox Confirmed in Anderson; One Person Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 17, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found near Ross Road in Liberty, S.C., has tested positive for rabies. One person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider. The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on June 15, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on June 16, 2021.
Please report all animal bites, scratches, and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC.
"It is very important for you to seek medical attention if you have been exposed to a wild, stray, or domestic animal. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite, scratch, broken skin, and the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, or mouth. Immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water," said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. "Contact your local Environmental Affairs office for further guidance.”
If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies and contact DHEC's Environmental Affairs Anderson office at (864) 260-5585 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, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This fox is the second animal in Anderson County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 35 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, six of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Anderson County.