DHEC confirms rabies positive raccoon


ELGIN, SC (WIS) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced that a raccoon tested positive for rabies.

According to the DHEC, the raccoon was submitted for testing on Sept. 14 and the results came back positive for rabies on Sept. 15.

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.”

The raccoon was found near Smyrna Road and Barfield Road in Elgin, SC, and is the second animal in Kershaw County to test positive for rabies in 2022. So far there have been 52 cases of rabid animals statewide this year.

Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2021, six of the 101 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Kershaw County.

DHEC is asking anyone who believes themselves, someone you know, or your pets may have come in contact with this raccoon or another animal that potentially has rabies to call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Sumter office at (803) 778-6548 or (888) 847- 0902.

No people or pets are known to have been exposed at this time.

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