DHEC reports seventh rabid animal found in Lexington County this year

(Live 5)
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 9:25 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said rabid animals have been found across the state, including in the Midlands.

DHEC said a rabid cat was found near Line St and Summerland in Batesburg-Leesville. One person was exposed to the animal and was referred to healthcare providers.

A raccoon was also found near SC-341 and Black Swamp Rd near Lynchburg that tested positive.

Both animals were tested earlier this week and confirmed to have rabies on Oct. 25. Terri McCollister the Rabies Program Team Leader said, “Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to people or pets. Therefore, give wild and stray animals plenty of space.”

McCollister said direct contact is defined 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.”

So far in 2022, the cat is the seventh animal in Lexington County to test positive for rabies. In Lee County, the raccoon is the second animal to test positive. Across the state, DHEC has confirmed 68 cases of rabid animals this year.

In 2021 DHEC reported 101 confirmed cases of rabies in SC. Last year seven of those cases were in Lexington County.

DHEC advised pet owners to make sure their animals are up to date on rabies vaccination. More information about rabies can be found at the link here.

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