Four dogs dead, 13 hunters decontaminated after coming across harmful pesticide

KershawHealth (Source: Jessica Saleeby)
KershawHealth (Source: Jessica Saleeby)
KershawHealth (Source: Jessica Saleeby)
KershawHealth (Source: Jessica Saleeby)
KershawHealth (Source: Jessica Saleeby)
KershawHealth (Source: Jessica Saleeby)

KERSHAW COUNTY, SC (WIS) - KershawHealth's lockdown is lifted around 6:30pm after a group of hunters were admitted for coming in contact with a pesticide.

Health center spokesperson, Judy Ferrell, said a group of 13 hunters were out in Lee County for a hunting party Thursday afternoon when some of their dogs came in contact with the substance. It was later identified as the agricultural pesticide Temik, which health officials indicate can be harmful.

Exposure to high amounts of Temik, specifically the active ingredient in it - Aldicarb - can cause weakness, blurred vision, headache, nausea, sweating, and tremors in humans. The same symptoms apply to animals. Dr. Brett Feder with South Carolina Veterinary Specialists explained that the hunters' dogs would have died from breathing failure. Four of the dogs rolled in and ingested very high doses of the pesticide, which was fatal, causing paralysis to their respiratory systems. A local veterinarian in Bishopville continues to treat the remaining dogs.

The health center also indicated three adults and one 11-year-old boy were admitted around 4:00pm after coming in contact with the substance. The spokesperson said the patients left the substance in their vehicle. Nine other adult hunters arrived later in the evening.

The spokesperson said the health center was put on lockdown to avoid contamination, but Ferrell said there was never any danger to anyone in the facility. Staff worked to decontaminate the affected individuals, who are all expected to be all right.  The adults were treated and released Thursday night. The boy was held overnight for further testing after experiencing mild symptoms from the pesticide. He was released Friday morning.

A spokesperson with the Department of Natural Resources said employees went back to the contaminated area to block it off and clean the area. The individual explained that the office is trying to figure out how the pesticide got there and see if there was any more of it.

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