Earlier this month a person in Longs was attacked by a rabid fox, now the victim is undergoing post-exposure treatment after potentially being exposed to rabies, according to a release from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
On March 16 near the intersection of Pireway Road and Old Buck Creek Road in Longs, one person was attacked by a fox that tested positive for rabies the next day at a DHEC lab, officials said.
“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 Sandra Craig of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services in the release.
Two dogs will also each be quarantined. One of the dogs was currently up-to-date on rabies vaccinations and will be quarantined for 45 days. The other wasn’t current on rabies vaccinations and will undergo a six-month quarantine, according to DHEC officials.
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DHEC recommends keeping pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations as that is one of the easiest ways to avoid the disease and links on low-cost rabies clinics can be found on their website at: http:www.dhec.sc.gov/rabies.
"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend giving wild and stray animals their space," said Craig in the release. "If you see an animal in need, avoid handling it and contact your local animal control office or wildlife rehabilitation facility."
The fox was the first animal to test positive for rabies in Horry County so far this year, according to DHEC official. There have been 11 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide in 2017, officials said, and also stated that one of the 94 rabies cases in South Carolina in 2016 was in Horry County.
“Hundreds of South Carolinians must undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year due to exposure to a rabid or suspected rabid animal,” DHEC officials said in the release.