South Carolina officials say more than two dozen people exposed to rabid puppy

From NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews

South Carolina health officials reported Friday that a puppy found in Edgefield County near Lanier Road in Johnston, SC, tested positive for rabies.

Image by Ilona Krijgsman from Pixabay

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.

The puppy lived in Augusta, GA from July 14, 2021 to July 17, 2021. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is working with the Georgia Department of Public Health to identify additional exposures. It was brought to Florence County, SC on July 17, 2021.

The puppy was sent to the DHEC laboratory for testing on July 19, 2021 and confirmed as rabies on July 20, 2021. This puppy will be the first animal in Edgefield County to test positive for rabies in 2021.

“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 rabies program. “Every mammal has the ability to transmit the disease to humans or pets. So, give plenty of space to wild and stray animals. In South Carolina, rabies is most commonly found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats, but pets are just as susceptible to the virus. When you see an animal in distress, avoid touching it. Contact someone who has been trained in handling animals, e.g. B. Your local animal welfare officer, an animal welfare officer or a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. If you believe that you or someone you know has had contact with, or may have been exposed to, this or any other suspicious animal, please contact your local environmental office. Exposure is defined as direct contact (e.g. through injured skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth) with saliva or brain / nervous system tissue of an infected animal. “

There were 46 cases of rabid animals across the country that year. As of 2002, South Carolina has had an average of about 148 positive cases per year.

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