Rabid Fox Confirmed in Spartanburg; Two Pets Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 13, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found near Cedar Springs Road and Francis Marion Drive in Spartanburg, SC has tested positive for rabies. No people are known to have been exposed at this time. Two dogs were exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on May 11, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on May 12, 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 unknown 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 Health 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 Spartanburg office at (864) 596-3327 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 Spartanburg County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 27 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, four of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Spartanburg County.