Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in Greenville County; No Known Human Exposures

An alert raccoon in a field of grass.
NASA

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a raccoon found near Old Hunts Bridge Road and Blue Lake Road in Greenville has tested positive for rabies.

There are no known human exposures reported at this time; however, a dog was exposed on May 11. The dog involved in this incident was previously exposed to a different raccoon from the same area that tested positive for rabies on April 30, 2020.

The raccoon was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 12 and was confirmed to have rabies on May 13.

Also, DHEC confirmed that a skunk found near High Point Road and Mount Willing Road in Saluda, SC has tested positive for rabies. There are no known human exposures reported at this time; however, a dog was exposed on May 12.

The skunk was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 13 and was confirmed to have rabies on May 14.

Please contact DHEC if you know of any possible human or animal exposure. Be sure to immediately wash any part of your body that may have come into contact with saliva or neural tissue with plenty of soap and water, and seek medical attention.

“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space,” said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC’s Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division. “If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it, since the possibility of exposure to rabies can occur anywhere and anytime. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator.”

If you believe that you, someone you know, or pets have come into contact with this raccoon, skunk, or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Greenville office (for the raccoon) at (864) 372-3273, or the Affairs Aiken office (for the skunk) at (803) 642-1637 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday). To report a bite or exposure on holidays or times outside of normal business hours, please call the DHEC after-hours service number at (888) 847-0902.

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 raccoon is the second animal in Greenville County to test positive for rabies in 2020. In 2019, four of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Greenville County.
  • This skunk is the second animal in Saluda County to test positive for rabies in 2020. In 2019, seven of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Saluda County.

There have been 40 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year.

Contact information for local DHEC 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.