Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Lexington County; Seven Pet Exposures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 14, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a raccoon found near Walter Rawl Road and Beaver Creek Road in Lexington, SC has tested positive for rabies. Seven pets were exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on September 10th and was confirmed to have rabies on September 11th.
Please contact DHEC if you know of any possible human or animal exposure.
"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. "Be sure to seek 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 raccoon or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Columbia office at (803) 896-0620 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 raccoon is the 11th animal in Lexington County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 119 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, 17 of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Lexington County.