Tag Archives: Rabies

DHEC in the News: National STD Awareness Month, rabies vaccination clinics, opioids

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

DHEC to provide free STD testing for Awareness Month

(WIS) – In honor of April being National STD Awareness Month, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will be offering free STD testing on April 18.

The tests will be conducted at DHEC’s public health clinics. Appointments are encouraged.

Rabies vaccination clinics set for April

Veterinarians across South Carolina are joining forces with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control this spring to help owners protect themselves, families, communities, and pets against rabies.

Florence Rotarians hear all about the war on drugs

FLORENCE, S.C. – The national opioid problem is a crisis that involves heroin and an epidemic that involves prescription pain medicine.

But the biggest enemy in an epic war on drugs is fentanyl.

Spring rabies vaccination clinics: The perfect opportunity to protect your pets

Veterinarians across South Carolina are joining forces with DHEC this spring to help owners protect themselves, families, communities, and pets against rabies.

As required by state law, all pet owners must vaccinate their dogs, cats, and ferrets.

“Participating veterinarians will vaccinate dogs, cats, and ferrets during the spring clinics,” said David Vaughan, director of DHEC’s Division of Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement. “Rabies vaccination fees may vary by clinic site.”

Local veterinarians offer vaccines year-round, but the spring clinics help raise awareness about rabies while providing convenience to pet owners. The support from local veterinarians during the spring clinics provides a valuable public service to our citizens.

While not required by state law, DHEC strongly recommends that owners vaccinate all horses, any livestock that has frequent contact with humans, any livestock that is particularly valuable, or animals used for raw milk or raw milk product production.

Hundreds of South Carolinians must undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year due to exposure to a rabid or suspected rabid animal. Although the cost varies, post-exposure treatment typically exceeds $8,000 per person.

“Rabies is a threat to pets, livestock, wild animals, and humans. Pet owners must stay vigilant and keep their pets’ vaccinations up-to-date,” said Vaughan. Keeping your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from this fatal disease.

In 2017, there were 63 positive cases of rabies confirmed in animals across the state, including 29 raccoons, 13 skunks, 6 foxes, 6 cats, 4 bats, 2 coyotes, 1 dog, 1 goat, and 1 groundhog. In total, 26 of South Carolina’s 46 counties had a laboratory-confirmed positive rabies case last year. Positive rabies cases have been reported in every county in our state since the statewide program began.

Spring clinic dates, times, and locations can be found on DHEC’s website at www.scdhec.gov/Rabies/Clinics.

Help us in the fight to end the spread of rabies in South Carolina! #RabiesClinics

DHEC in the News: Food waste, smoking cessation, rabies

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Don’t Waste Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving don’t toss your leftovers. Food waste is the No. 1 item thrown away by Americans and DHEC leads an effort to cut down on food waste across South Carolina. If you’ve tired yourself out from creating new recipes with your Turkey Day leftovers, try feeding people instead of our landfills.

DHEC offering free resources to quit smoking

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control celebrated the Great American smokeout by reminding people of the resources it offers for those looking to quit smoking. The American Cancer Society sets aside the third Thursday in November to encourage tobacco users to quit.

Bat potentially exposes person to rabies in Spartanburg

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — Health officials say a person may have been exposed to rabies in Spartanburg earlier this month.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said a bat was found between Converse Heights and Beaumont Village in downtown Spartanburg on Nov. 7.

DHEC in the News: Teen birth rate, Charleston Water System’s 100th anniversary, rabies

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Teen birth rate continues to drop in South Carolina

The teen birth rate in South Carolina continues to decline, new numbers published by the S.C. Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy show.

Between 2015 and 2016, the teen birth rate in the state dropped by 9 percent. Last year, looking specifically at the 15- to 19-year-old cohort, an average 23.8 of every 1,000 females gave birth.

On 100th anniversary, Charleston Water System digs up a bit of its well water past

Charleston soon will mark a modern milestone: The 100th anniversary of the city’s owning its own water system.

To observe the October occasion, the Charleston Water System isn’t burying a time capsule but it has been digging one up.

1 person potentially exposed to rabies by cat in Greenville Co.

SIMPSONVILLE, SC (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says that one person was potentially exposed to rabies by a stray cat that tested positive for the disease.

DHEC says that two stray cats were seen fighting before one turned on the victim, who was scratched.

World Rabies Day: Let’s #EndRabies

By Travis Shealy, DHEC Rabies Prevention Program Manager

World Rabies Day, September 28, is an international campaign that seeks to raise awareness about rabies in order to enhance prevention and control efforts. Rabies is a deadly virus that kills people, pets, and wildlife across the globe. Education and regular vaccinations are the key to #EndRabies.

What is Rabies?

RabiesMap

The SC Rabies Application provides statistics of rabies cases by county, species, and year. View rabies statistics across the state here

Rabies is a virus (Lyssavirus) that is transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body of a person or animal. This usually occurs through a bite; however, saliva contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies. After exposure, the rabies virus infects cells in the central nervous system causing infection and inflammation in the brain and, ultimately, death.

Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to humans or pets. The key to prevention is to stay away from wild and stray animals and keep your pets current on their rabies vaccinations! In South Carolina, rabies is most often found in wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and bats. Keep in mind, pets are just as susceptible to the virus.

As of September 27, 2017, there have been 52 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina this year. In 2016 there were 94 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide.

World Rabies Day Poster Contest

Join us in the fight to #EndRabies by keeping your pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccination. Vaccinations not only protect your pets and livestock, they also protect you and your family from this deadly virus. (As part of our effort to increase awareness of rabies, we encourage you to participate in this year’s poster contest. You can view contest rules on our website. The winning World Rabies Day posters will be posted on Facebook and Flickr.)

RabiesPhoto

DHEC invites South Carolinians to create and submit posters to help raise awareness about rabies prevention for World Rabies Day. #EndRabies

Rabies Prevention

Another great way to safeguard against rabies is to always give wild and stray animals their space and to educate your children on the dangers of handling unknown animals. If you see a wild animal that appears sick, contact your local animal control office, police/sheriff’s department, pest control operator, or wildlife rescue/rehabilitation group for help. Never handle strays or wildlife, and make sure to keep them away from your family pets. You can learn more about rabies symptoms here.

RabiesPoster

Exposure to a rabid bat can easily be overlooked. Bat bites can go unnoticed because they have such small teeth. Often people – especially children – don’t realize they’ve been bitten. If you find a bat in a room, tent, or cabin where someone has been sleeping or find a bat where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity (intoxicated or mentally disabled) have been left unattended, always assume a bite occurred. Any bat that could have had potential contact with people, pets, or livestock should be safely trapped in a sealed container for rabies testing. Contact your local DHEC Environmental Health Services office to report the incident.

Reporting Possible Rabies Exposure

If you’re bitten or scratched by an animal, care for the wound properly and contact your health care provider immediately. The health care provider is required by the Rabies Control Act to report the incident to DHEC.

If your child is bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed and you do not seek medical treatment for the wound, you are required by the Rabies Control Act to report the bite to DHEC by the end of the following business day. Contact information for the Environmental Health Services office in your area can be found on our map.

For more information on rabies, visit scdhec.gov/rabies.

World Rabies Day is co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC). To see GARC’s press release on its Zero by 30 campaign (zero human deaths from rabies by 2030), please visit rabiesalliance.org/news/towards-rabies-free-world.