DHEC: Rabid skunk found in Walhalla, 1 pet exposed

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control officials said a skunk found in Walhalla has tested positive for rabies.

According to a news release, the skunk, found near the Earlestead Drive and Wildwood Road, tested positive and one pet in the area was exposed.

DHEC said the pet exposed will be quarantined.

According to the release, the skunk was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Sept. 15 and was confirmed to have rabies on Sept. 16.

“Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination is the easiest way to protect you and your family from this deadly virus,” David Vaughan, Director of DHEC’s Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division said. “Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to people or pets. The key to prevention is to stay away from wild and stray animals and keep your pets current on their rabies vaccinations. In South Carolina, rabies is most often found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats, but pets are just as susceptible to the virus. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator.”

If you think you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or another suspect animal, call your local Environmental Affairs office.

If you find your pet with unknown wounds, call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Anderson office at 864-260-5585. For a bite or an exposure on holidays, call DHEC after-hours service number at 888-847-0902.

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

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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