News Releases

News Releases

Rabid Bat Confirmed in Charleston County and Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Chesterfield County; One Person and Two Pets Exposed

Nov. 1, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a bat found near Meeting Street and John Street in Charleston, SC has tested positive for rabies. One person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider.

A raccoon found near Cane Mill Crossing and Beaver Run Road in Cheraw, SC also tested positive for rabies. No people are known to be exposed at this time. Two dogs were exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.

The bat and the raccoon were both submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on October 27, 2022, and both were confirmed to have rabies on October 28, 2022.

Never handle a bat or any wild or stray animal, alive or dead, with your bare hands. Any bat that could have had potential contact with people, pets, or livestock should be safely trapped in a sealed container and not touched. Once a bat is released, it cannot be tested for rabies. Never release a bat that has potentially exposed a person or pet.

“Rabid bats have been known to transmit the rabies virus,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “People don’t always realize they or a pet have been bitten since bat teeth are tiny and bites are easy to overlook. Because of this, you should always assume a person or pet has potentially been bitten when:

  • They wake up to find a bat in a room or tent;
  • A bat is found where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity (intoxicated or mentally disabled) have been left unattended; or
  • They have been in direct contact with a bat.”

If you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this bat, this raccoon, or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Charleston office at (843) 953-0150 or Florence office at (843) 661-4825 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 bat is the third animal in Charleston County to test positive for rabies in 2022. The raccoon is the second animal to test positive for rabies in Chesterfield County in 2022. There have been 72 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2021, eight of the 101 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Charleston County, and none were in Chesterfield County.

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



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