The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a skunk found near Mimosa Trail and Bill Gray Lane in Anderson, has tested positive for rabies. There are no known human exposures reported at this time. One dog was exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The skunk was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on February 16th and was confirmed to have rabies on Feb.17.
“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or wildlife rehabilitator.” If you believe that you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or another suspect animal, please reach out to your local Environmental Affairs office. An exposure is defined as direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal.
If your pet is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies and contact DHEC’s Anderson office at (864) 260-5585 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).
It is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination which is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This skunk is the first animal in Anderson County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been ten cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, six of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Anderson County.
Contact information for local Environmental Affairs Offices is available at www.scdhec.gov/EAoffices.
For more information on rabies visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.