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Rabid Fox Confirmed in Florence County; No Known Exposures

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Rabid Fox Confirmed in Florence County; No Known Exposures


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 3, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found near River Bend Drive and Darlington Street in Timmonsville, S.C., has tested positive for rabies. No people or pets are known to have been exposed at this time. The fox was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on April 30, 2022, and was confirmed to have rabies on May 2, 2022.

“It is very important for you to seek medical attention if you have been exposed to a wild, stray, or domestic animal. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite, scratch, broken skin, and the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, or mouth. Immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “Please report all animal bites, scratches, and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC by contacting your local Environmental Affairs office for further guidance.” 

If you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this fox or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Florence office at (843) 661-4825 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 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, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This fox is the first animal in Florence County to test positive for rabies in 2022. There have been 23 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2021, none of the 101 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Florence 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.

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