Rabid Skunk Confirmed in Laurens County; No Known Exposures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 9, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a skunk found near Quail Run Road and Deerfield Drive in Laurens, SC has tested positive for rabies. No exposures have been reported at this time.
The skunk was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on September 4th and was confirmed to have rabies on September 8th.
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. "Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC."
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 Greenwood office at (864) 227-5915 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 skunk is the fourth animal in Laurens County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 117 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, three of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Laurens County.
Contact information for local Environmental Affairs offices is available at www.scdhec.gov/EAoffices. For more information on rabies, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.