Tuesday, March 14, 2017

South Carolina: Stray cat tests positive for rabies after biting Florence County resident

SOUTH CAROLINA -- A Florence County resident may have been exposed to rabies after being bitten by a stray cat.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says the person was bitten by the cat on their property on March 7. The incident happened at a home just north of the Florence Regional Airport.

The cat was placed under quarantine and died March 9, according to DHEC. Lab results released March 10 confirm the cat had rabies. The victim was referred to their personal doctor by DHEC to be tested for the disease and treated as needed.

“Rabies is transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body of a healthy person or animal. This usually occurs through a bite, however, saliva contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose or mouth, could also potentially transmit rabies,” said Craig.

DHEC also recommends keeping your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccination.

The stray cat is the first animal in Florence County to test positive for rabies in 2017. There have been seven confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide this year. In 2016, one of the 94 rabies cases in South Carolina was in Florence County.

Contact your local DHEC Environmental Health Services office using DHEC’s interactive map. For more information on rabies: visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies. CDC’s rabies webpage can be found at: www.cdc.gov/rabies.

(WBTW - March 14, 2017)