Rabid Fox Confirmed in Aiken; One Pet Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 30, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found between Crestview Ave. and Lake Ave. in North Augusta, S.C., has tested positive for rabies. One dog was 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 fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on July 28, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on July 29, 2021.
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. 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," said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “Contact your local Environmental Affairs office for further guidance.”
If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies and contact DHEC's Environmental Affairs Aiken office at (803) 642-1637 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 fox is the second animal in Aiken County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 48 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, six of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Aiken County.