One person in Newberry County and two in Kershaw County have started treatment for rabies after being exposed in two separate incidents involving wild animals that tested positive for rabies, DHEC said in a statement on Tuesday.
One person was potentially infected by a skunk on May 16 in Newberry County. Health officials said the exposure occurred when the infected skunk fought with two dogs. Both dogs have been quarantined for 6 months, the time required when an animal is not up-to-date with rabies vaccinations, health officials said.
On May 20, two people in Kershaw County were attacked by an infected fox east of Camden. A dog was also exposed and was quarantined for 45 days. The shorter quarantine period, compared to that required in the Newberry County attack, was set because this pet had an up-to-date rabies vaccination.
As of April 30, 2017, 21 animals had tested positive for rabies in South Carolina.
Treatment for someone who may have been exposed after being bitten or scratched by an animal that could have rabies consists of a series of shots over a 14-day period. The shots are usually given in the upper arm.