2nd possible rabies exposure from a fox in Upstate, DHEC says

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GREENWOOD COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed a second possible rabies exposure from a fox in the Upstate on Monday.

Last week, we reported about a possible rabies exposure in Union County, where one person was referred to their doctor after they were reportedly bitten and scratched by a fox in Pacolet on June 11.

The fox was taken to DHEC’s laboratory for testing and was confirmed to have rabies on June 12.

DHEC said that fox was the first animal in Union County to test positive for rabies in 2019.

On Monday, DHEC reported that a second person had possibly been exposed to rabies after they were bitten by a fox in Greenwood on June 13.

That fox was taken to DHEC’s lab for testing on June 14 and was confirmed to have rabies on June 15.

“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal, however, saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies,” David Vaughan, Director of DHEC’s Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division, said.

“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space,” Vaughan said. “If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator.”

If you believe you, a family member or a pet may have come into contact with the fox or another animal that potentially has rabies, call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Greenwood Office at 864-227-5915 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DHEC advises that you immediately wash the area that came into contact with the infected animal with soap and water, and to seek medical attention.

According to the news release, this fox is the third animal in Greenwood County to test positive for rabies in 2019.

DHEC said there have been 63 cases of rabid animals statewide this year.

In 2018, DHEC said eight of the 100 confirmed cases of rabies in the state were in Greenwood County.

For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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