CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Friday confirmed multiple human and animal exposures to a rabid cat and bat in Charleston County.

According to DHEC, two people, one pet, and a feral cat colony were exposed to animals that tested positive for rabies.

A gray feral cat found near Apple Street and Hickman Street in North Charleston tested positive for rabies. Confirmed exposures include one person and “an unknown number of feral cats within the colony.”

A bat found near Rifle Range Road and Scotts Creek Circle in Mount Pleasant also tested positive for rabies. One person and one dog were exposed. The dog will be quarantined as required by the Rabies Control Act, according to DHEC.

DHEC defines exposure as “direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal.”

Rabid bats are particularly concerning when it comes to transmitting rabies because their bites often go unnoticed. DHEC recommends assuming a person or pet has been bitten if:

  • They wake up to find a bat in a room or tent;
  • A bat is found where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity (intoxicated or mentally disabled) have been left unattended; or
  • They have been in direct contact with a bat.

To report possible rabies exposure, contact DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Charleston office at (843) 953-0150.