News Releases

News Releases

Rabid Skunk Confirmed in Oconee County; Eleven Pets Exposed

April 1, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a skunk found near Boat Ramp Road and S Union Road in Westminster, S.C., has tested positive for rabies. No people are known to have been exposed at this time. Eleven dogs were exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.

The skunk was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on March 28, 2024, and was confirmed to have rabies on March 29, 2024.

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 director. “Contact your local Public Health office for further guidance.” 

If you believe you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this skunk or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Public Health Anderson office at (864) 372-3270 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 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 Oconee County to test positive for rabies in 2024. There have been 20 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2023, four of the 78 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Oconee County.

Contact information for local Public Health offices is available at For more information on rabies, visit or



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