The South Carolin Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a raccoon found near California Avenue and Jackson Street in Spartanburg, S.C. has tested positive for rabies.
No people are known to have been exposed at this time. One dog was exposed and will be quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The raccoon was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on January 26, 2023, and was confirmed to have rabies on January 27, 2023.
“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. “Contact your local DHEC Environmental Affairs office for further guidance.”
If you believe that you, someone you know, or your pets have come in contact with this raccoon or another animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Spartanburg office at (864) 596-3327 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). Please report all animal bites, scratches, and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC.
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 first animal in Spartanburg County to test positive for rabies in 2023. There have been seven cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2022, one of the 83 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina was in Spartanburg 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.