Rabid Raccoon Found in Bluffton, South Carolina
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed that a raccoon found near Old Mill Crossing and Stepping Stone Way in Bluffton, tested positive for rabies . This has raised concerns about the spread of the disease and the need for prompt medical attention.
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a virus that can be transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body of a healthy person or animal. It infects cells in the central nervous system, causing disease in the brain and, ultimately, death. Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to humans or pets .
The raccoon was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Friday and was confirmed to have rabies on Saturday . At least five people have been exposed to the virus . Health leaders say if you, your pets, or anyone you know may have been exposed, you should contact the Department of Health and Environmental Services Beaufort Office at (843)-525-7625 .
Rabies in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the primary carriers of rabies are: Raccoons; Skunks; Foxes; Bats . It’s important to remember that rabies is a medical urgency, but not an emergency. Rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt, appropriate medical care. Vaccinations are available for pets such as dogs, cats, and ferrets. Livestock such as horses, cows, and sheep can also be vaccinated. Species for which licensed rabies vaccines are not available (goat and swine), that have frequent contact with humans, or are considered valuable, should also be vaccinated. This not only protects your animal but also you and your family from this deadly virus .
Rabies is a serious disease that can be fatal if left untreated. If you or someone you know has been bitten by an animal or exposed to its saliva or neural tissue, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. The Department of Health and Environmental Services Beaufort Office can be contacted at (843)-525-7625 .