MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says one person was exposed to rabies by a cat that tested positive for the virus.
The cat was found near St. Michaels Place and Lou Elec Lane in Moncks Corner. DHEC has asked for help from the area animal control team because other cats from the same group of animals are in the area.
DHEC defines exposure as a bite, scratch or contact with saliva or body fluids from an infected animal.
“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, saliva or neural tissue from an infected animal that comes into contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies,” Rabies Program Director Terri McCollister said. “To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space. If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer, wildlife control operator, or a wildlife rehabilitator.”
DHEC says if your pet is found with unknown wounds to consider that your pet may have been exposed to rabies and contact DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Charleston office at 843-953-0150 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday-Friday). To report a bite or possible exposure on holidays or at times outside of normal business hours, DHEC’s after-hours service number is 888-847-0902.