CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Yet another rabid raccoon was found in Charleston County last week.
State health officials say the animal was located near South Boulevard and Durant Avenue and submitted to DHEC’s laboratory on October 6th. It was confirmed to have the disease the next day.
There are no known human exposures reported at this time.
DHEC says this is the 35th animal to test positive for rabies in Charleston County this year. News 2 reached out to see if there was a reason for the uptick in local rabies cases.
They said the reason could be from changes in land use and wildlife populations among other factors.
Among other cases included a rabid cat, fox, three bats and more than two dozen raccoons.
State health officials say It is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination and to 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. “Be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC.”
There have been 137 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, 19 of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Charleston County.