Rabid raccoon confirmed in Clarendon County, 4 pets exposed


A raccoon found near White Oak Drive and Comstock Lane in Manning has tested positive for rabies according to a news  release from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.  SCDHEC reports no people have been exposed at this time, but four dogs were exposed and are being quarantined as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The raccoon was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing on June 13 and was confirmed to have rabies on June 14.
If you or someone you know, or your pets, have come in contact with this raccoon or another animal that potentially has rabies, call DHEC's Public Health Conway office at (843) 915-8801 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).
“Keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccination is the easiest way to protect you and your family from this deadly virus,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program director, in the release.  “Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to people or pets. Therefore, give wild and stray animals plenty of space.”
According to SCDHEC, in South Carolina rabies is most often found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, but pets are just as susceptible to the virus. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it. Contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control officer, or a wildlife rehabilitator. An exposure is defined as direct contact (such as through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth) with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal.
This raccoon is the first animal in Clarendon County to test positive for rabies in 2024. There have been 35 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2023, none of the 78 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Clarendon County.
Contact information for local Public Health offices is available at scdhec.gov/RabiesContacts. For more information on rabies visit scdhec.gov/rabies or cdc.gov/rabies.