7 People, 1 Dog Exposed To Rabies In Berkeley County

That year there were 37 cases of rabid animals across the country. (Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environment confirmed Friday that a cat found near Land O Pines Circle and Pinopolis Road in Moncks Corner had tested positive for rabies. Seven people were exposed and referred to their health care providers. A dog has been abandoned and is being quarantined under the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.

According to SCDHEC, the cat was presented to the DHEC laboratory for testing on June 23, 2021 and confirmed as rabies on June 24, 2021.

“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch, which allows saliva from an infected animal to enter the body of a person or another animal. However, contact of infected saliva or nerve tissue with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies, ”said Terri McCollister, team leader of the rabies program. “To reduce the risk of developing rabies, always give place to wild and stray animals. If you see an animal in distress, avoid touching it and seek help from someone trained in handling animals, such as a helper. B. Your local animal welfare officer, an animal welfare officer or a wildlife keeper. Please report all animal bites, scratches and contact with potentially rabid animals to the DHEC. “

If your pet appears to have been bitten or scratched by this cat, or wounds of unknown origin are found, please be aware that your pet may have been exposed to rabies and contact the DHEC Charleston Environmental Affairs Office at (843 ) 953-015050 business hours (8:30 am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday) or outside business hours and bank holidays at (888) 847-0902 (select option 2).

State health officials said it was important to keep pets informed about their rabies vaccination, as it is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself from the disease.

This cat is the second animal in Berkeley County to test positive for rabies in 2021. That year there were 37 cases of rabid animals across the country. As of 2002, South Carolina has had an average of about 148 positive cases per year. In 2020, two of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Berkeley County.

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

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