Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Greenville County; No Known Human Exposures
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a raccoon located near Ridge Way and Ridge Glen in Simpsonville, SC has tested positive for rabies. There are no known human exposures; however, two dogs were exposed to the rabid raccoon.
The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on May 26 and was confirmed to have rabies later on that day.
Please contact DHEC if you know of any possible human or animal exposure. Be sure to immediately wash any part of your body that may have come into contact with saliva or neural tissue with plenty of soap and water, and seek medical attention. Exposure is defined as a bite, scratch, or contact with saliva or body fluids from an infected animal.
"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space," said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division. "If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it as the possibility of exposure to rabies can occur anywhere and anytime. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator."
If you believe that you, someone you know, family members, or pets have come into contact with this raccoon or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Greenville office at (864) 372-3273 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). To report a bite or exposure on holidays or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number at (888) 847-0902.
It is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This raccoon is the third animal in Greenville County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 47 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, four of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Greenville County.