Rabid Raccoons Confirmed in Charleston County; One Pet Exposure
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 5, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that:
- a raccoon located near Pebble Road and Walk Easy Lane in Charleston, S.C., tested positive for rabies. One dog was 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 October 1 and was confirmed to have rabies on October 2.
- a raccoon located near Browning Road and Byron Road in Charleston, S.C. tested positive for rabies. No exposures have been reported at this time. The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on October 1 and was confirmed to have rabies on October 2.
"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. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator."
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 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. These raccoons are the 33rd and 34th animal in Charleston County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 135 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.