LIBERTY — One person has been referred to a health care provider for preventive treatment after being exposed to rabies in the Liberty area of Pickens County by a fox that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Friday.
This animal is the third to test positive in 2014 from Pickens County. There was one in that county in 2013.
“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild,” said Sandra Craig of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services. “About 275 South Carolinians must undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year, with most exposures coming from bites or scratches by a rabid or suspected rabid animal. Wild animals transmit the disease most often, but domestic pets can contract rabies as well.”
South Carolina had 124 confirmed cases of rabies in animals during 2013. There have been 58 confirmed cases in animals statewide this year.
“If you think you have been exposed to the rabies virus through a bite, scratch or the saliva of a possibly infected animal, immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water,” Craig said. “Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC.”