COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday that four people have been exposed to rabies in the southwest area of Pickens County after caring for a young goat.
According to a DHEC news release, those exposed were caring for the goat and when it began showing odd behavior and had increased salivation, the goat was euthanized on April 27.
The goat was then sent to the University of Georgia for testing, which confirmed it had rabies.
According to the release, South Carolina law requires pet owners to vaccinate dogs, cats and ferrets, but does not require owners of agricultural animals to vaccinate, nor is there an approved vaccine for, goats.
“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people use caution when pets or livestock exhibit sudden changes in behavior,” David Vaughan of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services (BEHS) said. “This is especially true if owners notice unexplainable injuries on their animals, or stray/wild animals mingling with livestock or pets.”
According to the release, DHEC recommends that owners of agricultural animals vaccinate:
- Any livestock that have frequent contact with humans
- Any livestock that are particularly valuable
- Animals used for raw milk or raw milk product production
DHEC officials said the goat is the second animal in Pickens County to test positive for rabies in 2018, and said there have been 20 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide so far in 2018.
According to the release, one of the 63 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina in 2017 was in Pickens County.
For more information rabies and livestock, click here. For information on rabies, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies.