7 people exposed to rabid cat in Berkeley County, DHEC says

Berkeley County News

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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – State health officials say seven people were exposed to a rabid cat in Berkeley County.

The cat, which tested positive for rabies, was found near Land O Pines Circle and Pinopolis in Moncks Corner this week.

Those who were exposed to the rabid cat were referred to their healthcare provides. A dog was also exposed and is being quarantined as required by the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.

The cat was submitted to DHEC’s lab for testing on Wednesday and confirmed to have rabies the following day.

“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.

To reduce the risk of getting rabies, McCollister said you should 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,” said McCollister.

This cat is the second animal in Berkeley County to test positive for rabies in 2021.

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If your pet appears to have been bitten or scratched by this cat, or is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies and contact DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Charleston office at (843) 953-0150 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).

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