COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says more than a dozen people have been referred to their healthcare providers after possible exposure to rabies.
DHEC said Friday that a calf raised near Highway 28 south in Clemson tested positive for rabies.
“The calf was part of a herd vaccinated against rabies but was too young to have been vaccinated against rabies,” an agency statement said.
The calf was submitted to the DHEC lab for testing on Tuesday and was confirmed to have rabies on Wednesday.
South Carolina law requires that all dogs, cats, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies and revaccinated at a frequency that provides continued protection of the animal against rabies using a vaccine approved by the department and authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Livestock are susceptible to rabies and all livestock with USDA approved rabies vaccines should be vaccinated. Cattle and horses, however, are the most commonly reported infected livestock species. Species for which licensed vaccines are not available (goats and pigs), which have frequent contact with humans, or which are considered valuable, should also be vaccinated.
“Keeping your pets and livestock up to date on their rabies vaccinations is a responsibility that comes with pet ownership. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself, your family, your pets and your livestock from this deadly disease. It’s a worthwhile investment to give you some peace of mind,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. If your pet or farm animal is found with injuries of unknown origin, please consider that your animal may have been exposed to rabies.
If you believe you, your family members, or your pets have come into contact with this calf or other potentially rabid animal, please call the DHEC Environmental Affairs Office in Greenville at 864-372-3273 during normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. 5 p.m. weekdays or after hours and holidays at 888-847-0902 (select option 2).
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