COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Three people in the Midlands have begin post-exposure treatment after possibly being exposed to rabies, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
According to department officials, the first exposure happened in Newberry County between Whitmire and Newberry on May 16. A skunk fought with two dogs, but one person was also potentially exposed to the skunk during the incident.
The second exposure took place on May 20 in Kershaw County east of Camden. Two people were attacked by a fox. The fox also potentially exposed a dog in the same location.
Officials said the fox and the skunk both tested positive for rabies. Each dog that was exposed in the previous incidents will undergo a quarantine period. The two dogs from Newberry County were not current with their rabies vaccinations and will have to be quarantined for six months. However, the dog from Kershaw County was current on its rabies vaccination and will only be quarantined for 45 days.
DHEC said the skunk is the first animal in Newberry County to test positive for rabies this year. Last year, six of the state's 94 rabies cases were in Newberry County. The fox is the third animal in Kershaw County to test positive for rabies this year. Last year, no animals in the county tested positive for rabies.
So far, there have been 24 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide this year.