Rabid Skunk Confirmed in Anderson County; One Pet Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 23, 2023
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a skunk found near Indian Trail and Ogden Drive in Townville, 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.
The skunk was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on March 21, 2023, and was confirmed to have rabies on March 22, 2023.
“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 people or pets. Therefore, 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 skunk or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call 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).
This skunk is the third animal in Anderson County to test positive for rabies in 2023. There have been 16 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 Anderson County.
Contact information for local Environmental Affairs offices is available at scdhec.gov/EAoffices. For more information on rabies visit scdhec.gov/rabies or cdc.gov/rabies.