News Releases

News Releases

Rabid Cat Confirmed in Laurens County; One Person Exposed

March 8, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a cat found near SC Highway 72 and Charlottes Road in Clinton, S.C., has tested positive for rabies. One person was exposed and has been referred to their health care provider.

The cat was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on March 6, 2024, and was confirmed to have rabies on March 7, 2024. If you believe you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this cat or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Public Health Greenwood office at (864) 942-3600 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).

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," said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program director. "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. Contact your local Public Health office for further guidance.”

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 cat is the first animal in Laurens County to test positive for rabies in 2024. There have been 13 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2023, one of the 78 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina was in Laurens County.

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



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