Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Charleston County; No Exposures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 28, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a raccoon found near Parkwood and Farmfield Estates, between Forestwood Drive and Cassina Road in Charleston, SC has tested positive for rabies. There are no known exposures. This is the third positive rabid raccoon reported in the Parkwood and Farmfield Estates subdivisions in 2020. Please see the two previous news releases for this area on September 16, 2020, and May 27,2020.
The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on October 26th and was confirmed to have rabies on October 27th.
"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space," said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division." If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it since the possibility of exposure to rabies can occur anywhere and anytime. An exposure is defined as a bite, a scratch, or contact with saliva or body fluids from an infected or possibly infected animal. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator. If you believe that you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or another suspect animal, please reach out to your local Environmental Affairs office.”
If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet could have been exposed to rabies, and contact DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Charleston office at (843) 953-0150 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 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 which is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This raccoon is the 41st animal in Charleston County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 149 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, 19 of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Charleston County.