Three people in South Carolina have undergone post-exposure treatment for rabies and another resident was referred to a physician for possible exposure to the virus. This is all according to statements issued by South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control recently.
In Sumter County, one person was exposed and another potentially exposed by a pet that had apparently contracted the virus from a raccoon that was found dead on the property. It is not known whether the dog actually killed the raccoon or simply began to play with the animal’s carcass.
What is known, though, is that the dog was not current with its rabies vaccine. Weeks later, the dog began to show clear signs of the infection. Tests confirmed the suspected diagnosis.
The other exposures occurred in Greenwood County. A fox somehow gained entry into a home and bit the homeowner and a dog. The fox escaped and could not be tested. The dog was current with its vaccinations and, as of the last update, is being quarantined as a precaution.
The homeowner underwent treatment.
That same day, and only a mile away, a person was attacked by a fox while the person was exiting a vehicle and also bitten. In this case, the fox was destroyed and submitted for testing. Again, the suspected rabies infection was confirmed.
It is unconfirmed that this fox was the animal who bit the nearby homeowner.
These cases, say the Department, push the number of animal rabies cases in the state to 28. To put that into perspective, there were 130 documented animal rabies cases in South Carolina in all of last year.