Rabid Skunk Confirmed in Hampton; One Person Potentially Exposed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a skunk found near Prince William Road (State Rd S-25-512) and Pond Town Road in Brunson, SC has tested positive for rabies. One person was potentially exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider.
The skunk was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on August 13, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on August 16, 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 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 Affairs office for further guidance.”
If you believe that you, someone you know, or pets have come into contact with this skunk or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Beaufort office at (843) 846-1030 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 skunk is the first animal in Hampton County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 53 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, none of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Hampton County.