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Rabid Raccoon Exposes Two Pets to Rabies in Beaufort County, South Carolina

Rabid raccoon warning sign.

Rabid Raccoon Found in Beaufort County, Exposing Two Pets

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported a confirmed case of a rabid raccoon in Beaufort County near Dolphin Point Drive and Indigo Loop on May 31. The raccoon had come into contact with two pets, both of which are now quarantined as prescribed by the South Carolina Rabies Control Act in an effort to prevent further spread of the virus.

No Humans Exposed to the Rabid Animal

Fortunately, there have been no known exposures of the rabies virus to humans in this incident. The raccoon, which was tested positive by the DHEC’s laboratory on May 29 was found three days prior in Beaufort.

Individuals who suspect they or their pets may have come in contact with this raccoon are encouraged to contact DHEC’s Public Health Beaufort office during business hours or use the designated after-hours and holiday hotline to get assistance.

Importance of Rabies Vaccination

In response to the incident, DHEC Rabies Program director Terri McCollister stressed the importance of keeping pets up to date on their rabies vaccinations as the easiest way to guard against the potentially deadly virus.

“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 advised in a media release. Notably, pet animals are equally susceptible to the virus as their wildlife counterparts.

Approach Toward Wildlife and Stray Animals

Residents are urged to avoid contact with wildlife prone to rabies like raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats and also stray animals. Expert handling is advised for any mammal suspected of carrying the virus, that is, contact with an infected animal’s saliva or nervous system tissue.

Rabies Occurrence in South Carolina

This case marks the second incident of a rabid animal in Beaufort County this year, contributing to the total of 29 cases recorded statewide up to present in 2024. The state of South Carolina has averaged around 148 positive cases annually since 2002.

In 2023, a single case of rabies was confirmed in Beaufort County amongst the 78 statewide incidents.

Contact Info and Additional Resources

The contact information for local Public Health offices, including DHEC’s Beaufort office, is available online. General information concerning rabies and measures for prevention can be found at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tags:

Raccoon, Rabies, Beaufort County, Pets, Wildlife, Terri McCollister, DHEC


Rabid Raccoon Exposes Two Pets to Rabies in Beaufort County, South Carolina

HERE Irmo
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