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Apr 28, 2015

03:13:46 GMT--Biological Hazard - North-America - USA


EDIS Number: BH-20150428-47971-USA
Date / time: 28/04/2015 03:12:20 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: North-America
Country: USA
State/County: State of South Carolina
Location: [Aiken County]
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: 2 person(s)
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

Two Aiken County residents were referred to their health care providers for treatment after being "potentially exposed" to rabies by a raccoon in North Augusta, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The incident happened April 21 when the raccoon was killed by the victims' dogs, according to Jim Beasley, a spokesman for DHEC. The victims were potentially exposed to the raccoon's saliva by handling the dogs, and the raccoon tested positive for rabies Wednesday. "To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild," said Sandra Craig, of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services. She added that about 275 South Carolinians must undergo preventative treatment for rabies each year, with most exposures coming from bites or scratches by a rabid or suspected rabid animal. "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," Craig said. "Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC." There were 139 confirmed cases of animal rabies in South Carolina in 2014, according to DHEC numbers. There have been 45 confirmed cases statewide this year, and this is the third animal to test positive in Aiken County, where 11 animals total tested positive in 2014.

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