Rabid Fox Confirmed in Pickens County and Rabid Skunk Confirmed in York County; Three People and Three Pets Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2023
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that:
- a fox found near Sherman Street and Daniel Drive in Clemson, SC has tested positive for rabies. Three people were exposed and have been referred to their healthcare providers. No pets are known to have been exposed at this time.
- a skunk found near Coulwood Drive and Flat Rock Road in York, SC also tested positive for rabies. Three pets were exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act. No people are known to have been exposed at this time.
The Pickens County fox and York County skunk were submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on January 12, 2023, and were confirmed to have rabies on January 13, 2023.
"Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, infected saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies," said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. "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, wildlife control operator, or a wildlife rehabilitator. Please report all animal bites, scratches, and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC.”
If you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this Pickens County fox or York County skunk or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Greenville office at (864) 372-3273 or Rock Hill office at (803) 909-7377 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).
In 2023, this fox is the first animal in Pickens County to test positive for rabies, and this skunk is the second animal to test positive in York County. There have been five cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2022, eight of the 83 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Pickens County, and five were in York County.