Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Orangeburg County; Two Pets Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a raccoon found near Pinebrook Street and Dekoven Lane in Orangeburg, SC has tested positive for rabies. Two dogs 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 August 26, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on August 27, 2021.
"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space," said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. "If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or wildlife rehabilitator."
An exposure is defined as direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal. If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies.
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 Orangeburg office at (803) 533-5490 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 which is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This raccoon is the second animal in Orangeburg County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 60 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, one of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina was in Orangeburg County.