DHEC to offer rabies vaccination clinics - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

DHEC to offer rabies vaccination clinics

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From the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control:

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Veterinarians across South Carolina will join forces this spring with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control to help residents protect their pets, and themselves, from rabies.

"Participating veterinarians will conduct reduced-cost rabies clinics to vaccinate pet dogs and cats against this fatal disease," said Sue Ferguson of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health.  "Vaccinations will cost $3 each at these special DHEC-sponsored clinics."

Annually, about 400 South Carolinians undergo preventive treatment after being bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal.  The cost of preventive treatment is an estimated $1,500 per person.

"Rabies is fatal once the virus reaches the brain, but pets can be vaccinated against the disease," Ferguson said.  "The most effective way to protect pets and humans from the threat of rabies is to have all dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies."

Current South Carolina law requires every pet cat, dog and ferret to be vaccinated against rabies.  The owner of an unvaccinated domestic pet may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $500, or face 30 days in prison.

Dates, times and locations of special rabies vaccination clinics can be obtained from DHEC's county public health departments and local participating vets.  For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies.

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