The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed that a raccoon found between George Harvin and Raccoon Road in Manning has tested positive for rabies, according to a news release from the Department. At this time, no people are known to have been exposed, but one dog was exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
According to the release, the raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on Aug. 7 and was confirmed to have rabies on Aug. 9.
"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, 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.”
If you or someone you know, or your pet, has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or another suspect rabid animal, call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Sumter office at (803) 778-6548 during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (select option 2).
DHEC reminds the public that it is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as it is one of the most effective ways to protect against the disease. This raccoon is the first animal in Clarendon County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 50 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, none of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Clarendon County.
Contact information for local Environmental Affairs offices is available at www.scdhec.gov/EAoffices. For more information on rabies visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.
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