Rabies in Bennettsville, S.C.: Six people and six stray cats exposed
news desk Lord, save her
the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed this A stray gray longhair cat found near Salem Road and Jackson Road in Bennettsville, South Carolina, tested positive for rabies. Six people were screened and referred to healthcare providers. Six more stray cats have been detected. This is an ongoing investigation.
The stray gray longhair cat was submitted to the DHEC laboratory for testing on February 13, 2023, and was confirmed to have rabies on February 14, 2023.
“It is very important that you seek medical attention if you have been exposed to a wild, stray, or domestic animal. The rabies virus is found in the saliva of infected animals and can be transmitted through a bite, scratch, or broken skin or mucous membranes of your eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash the affected area.” Immediately with plenty of soap and water,” said Terry McCollister, team leader for the Rabies Program. Contact your local environmental affairs office for further guidance.
Please report all animal bites, scrapes and exposures to potentially rabid animals to DHEC.
It is important to keep pets up to date with the rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent the disease. This cat is the first animal in Marlboro County to test positive for rabies in 2023. There have been 11 cases of rabies animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged 148 positive cases per year. In 2022, one of the 83 confirmed cases of rabies in South Carolina was in Marlboro County.