FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Two people in Florence County have been potentially exposed to rabies by a pet dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported today.
They have been referred to their healthcare providers for consultation, according to reports.
The victims were subsequently exposed to saliva while trying to provide care for the animal. The dog died, and was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing. It was confirmed to have rabies, and the dog was not current on its rabies vaccination, the report states.
"Rabies is a deadly virus that is transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body. Exposure may occur through a bite, scratch or contact with saliva to broken skin or mucous membranes, such as the eyes or mouth," said Sandra Craig of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services.
According to DHEC, the dog is the first animal in Florence County to test positive for rabies in 2016. There have been 89 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide this year. In 2015, one of the 130 rabies cases in South Carolina was in Florence County.