Rabid raccoon enters South Carolina hospital; 1 person exposed

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed that a person has been the victim of a rabid raccoon in Lexington County.

The animal entered Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, officials said. The person who was exposed has been referred to their care provider.

The raccoon was handed over to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on December 18 and tested positive for rabies on December 19.

“To reduce the risk of rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space,” said Rabies Program Team Leader Terri McCollister. “If you see an animal in distress, avoid touching it and contact someone who is trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control service or animal rehabilitator.”

If you think you or someone you know has had contact with or been potentially exposed to this or any other suspected animal, please contact your local environmental issues. An exposure is defined as direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth) with saliva or brain / nervous system tissue from an infected animal.

This is the 14th animal to test positive for rabies in Lexington County 2020.

For more information visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.