25 people, 6 dogs exposed to local puppy with rabies

JOHNSTON, SC (WRDW / WAGT) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed that a puppy in Edgefield County tested positive for rabies.

The pup was on Lanier Road in Johnston but also lived in Augusta from July 14-17.

At least 25 people were exposed and referred to their health care providers. Six dogs have been abandoned and are being quarantined under the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.

DHEC is working with the Georgia Department of Public Health to identify additional exposures.

The puppy was presented to the DHEC lab for testing on Monday and rabies was confirmed on Tuesday.

“Keeping your pets informed about their rabies vaccination is the easiest way to keep you and your family safe from this deadly virus,” said Terri McCollister, team leader of the DHEC rabies program. “Every mammal has the ability to transmit the disease to humans or pets. So give wild and stray animals plenty of space. “

In South Carolina, rabies is most commonly found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats, but pets are susceptible to the virus.

“If you see an animal in distress, avoid touching it,” said McCollister.

Instead, contact someone who has been trained in handling animals, e.g.

This puppy will be the first animal in Edgefield County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There were 46 cases of rabid animals across South Carolina this year.

Contact information for local environmental offices can be found at www.scdhec.gov/EAoffices. For more information about rabies, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.

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