Rabid Fox Confirmed in Greenville County; One Person and Two Pets Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found near Forestville Road and Keeler Mill Road in Travelers Rest, SC has tested positive for rabies. One person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider. Two dogs were exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on September 28, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on September 29, 2021.
“Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination is the easiest way to protect you and your family from this deadly virus,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to humans or pets. So, give wild and stray animals plenty of space. In South Carolina, rabies is most often found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats, but pets are just as susceptible to the virus. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control officer, or a 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 you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this fox or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs 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).
This fox is the fifth animal in Greenville County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 75 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, five of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Greenville County.