FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2021
COLUMBIA, SC – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed that a The fox found near Brunner Circle and High Pointe Drive in Blythewood, South Carolina, tested positive for rabies. One person has been potentially exposed and has been referred to their health care provider. Three dogs have been exposed and will be quarantined under South Carolina’s rabies control law.
The fox was submitted to the DHEC lab for testing on November 1, 2021, and it was confirmed to have rabies on November 2, 2021.
“To reduce the risk of contracting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space. ” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Control Program Team Leader. “If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in animal handling, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or wildlife rehabilitator. »Exposure is defined as direct contact (eg through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose or mouth) with saliva or brain / nervous system tissue of an infected animal. If your pet is found with injuries of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies.
If you suspect that you, someone you know, or your pets have been in contact with this fox or other potentially rabid animal, please call DHEC’s Colombia Environmental Affairs office at (803) 896- 0620 during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday) or outside business hours and holidays at (888) 847-0902 (select option 2).
It is important to keep animals up to date with their rabies vaccination, which is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect themselves against the disease. This fox is the tenth animal in Richland County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 84 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged about 148 positive cases per year. In 2020, eight of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Richland County.