HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – A raccoon found within the Sea Pines Community in Hilton Head Island tests positive for rabies, The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
According to DHEC, the raccoon was found on Baynard Park Road near Baynard Cove Club, and no people or pets have been exposed at this time.
“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,” says Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “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.”
This is the first animal in 2021 to test positive in Beaufort County.
DHEC advises that if you, someone you know, or your pets may have come into contact with this raccoon or another animal that may have rabies, to please call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Beaufort office at (843) 846-1030.
DHEC reported 56 cases of rabid animals in South Carolina this year and emphasizes for pet owners and handlers to keep their pets up to date on their vaccinations.