Rabid Fox Confirmed in Edgefield County; No Known Human Exposures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 5, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found near Highway 19 and Samuel E. Diggs Road in Trenton, SC has tested positive for rabies. There are no known human exposures reported at this time; however, a dog was exposed on June 2.
The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on June 3 and was confirmed to have rabies on June 4.
Please contact DHEC if you know of any possible human or animal exposure. Be sure to immediately wash any part of your body that may have come into contact with saliva or neural tissue with plenty of soap and water, and seek medical attention.
"If you think you have been exposed to the rabies virus through a bite, scratch or the saliva of a possibly infected animal, immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water," said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division. "Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC."
If you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come into contact with this fox or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Aiken office at (803) 642-1637 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). To report a bite or exposure on holidays or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number at (888) 847-0902.
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 first animal in Edgefield County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 53 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, three of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Edgefield County.