Raccoon in Orangeburg County tests positive for rabies, one other pet exposed

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirms a raccoon tests positive for rabies on July 9 in Norway, S.C.

“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, infected saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader.

The raccoon is the first animal in Orangeburg County to test positive for rabies in 2021.

So far, there have been 42 confirmed rabid animals in the state.

“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or a wildlife rehabilitator. Please report all animal bites, scratches, and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC.”

DHEC advises that if your pet appears to have been scratched or bitten by this raccoon, or has unknown wounds, consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies – said pet owners need to contact DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Orangeburg office at (803) 533-5490 or (888) 847-0902 during after-hours and holidays.

For more information on rabies visit scdhec.gov/rabies or cdc.gov/rabies.

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