Aiken County residents were warned Tuesday to avoid contact with suspicious animals after a raccoon tested positive for rabies.
Sue Ferguson of the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control said the newest case is the third in that county this year, with nine cases during 2011.
“Avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild,” she said, adding also that pet owners should be sure their pets’ rabies vaccinations are up to date, as state law requires.
“About 275 South Carolinians are advised to undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year, with most exposures from being bitten or scratched by a rabid or suspected rabid animal,” she said.
There were 107 confirmed cases of animal rabies during 2011 in South Carolina. There have been 64 confirmed cases in animals statewide this year.
“If you think you have been exposed to the rabies virus through a bite, scratch or the saliva of a possibly infected animal, immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water,” she said. “Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC.”