Tag Archives: Rabies

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.

DHEC in the News: Shem Creek, Folly Beach, Rabies, Seismic Testing

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

Keep local creeks clean

Charleston, SC (Post and Courier) – There could be as many as 18 failing septic tanks lining the Shem Creek watershed in Mount Pleasant, potentially leaking harmful fecal bacteria into one of the town’s most popular recreational attractions. And that could be the best case scenario, considering that the town’s latest information is 10 years old.

Sand from the Folly River would be used to fix Folly east end beaches under city plan

Folly Beach, SC (Post and Courier) – Folly Beach wants to use sand from the Folly River to restore beaches on the east end of the island where hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew did heavy damage.

The city has submitted an application for the work to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Some 18,000 dump truck loads of sand from the river would be placed on 26 acres of beach between 8th Street East and 14th Street East, according to the application.

Rabid Woodchuck found in Oconee Co.

Oconee County, SC (WSPA) – … one person has been referred to their healthcare provider for consultation after being potentially exposed to rabies by a woodchuck, also known as a groundhog or whistle pig, which tested positive for the disease.

Two woodchucks were observed fighting with one another before one turned on the victim, who was subsequently bitten and scratched. This exposure occurred near the intersection of Playground Road and Highway 28 South in Walhalla. One of the woodchucks was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on July 3 and was confirmed to have rabies the same day. The other woodchuck was not available for testing.

NOAA gives more time to comment on offshore seismic tests

Charleston, SC (Post and Courier) – Federal regulators are giving people two more weeks to comment on plans for permitting seismic testing offshore because of the deluge of comments already received. Drill-or-don’t-drill has become a controversy.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has received thousands of comments, a news release said.

More information about seismic surveying is available on our website.

DHEC in the News: Opiods, bats, rising sea level

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

Midlands Deputies Use Narcan to Fight Opioid Epidemic

Kershaw County, SC (WLTX) – The opioid epidemic is becoming a major problem in our state and now one county’s deputies have a new tool that could save lives.

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputies are being trained how to use Narcan, a life-saving opiate overdose antidote. …

“Police officers get to the area a lot earlier,” DHEC EMS Director Arnold Alier said of the importance of law enforcement officers having Narcan.

DHEC warns Myrtle Beach condo residents about rabies after multiple bat sighting

Myrtle Beach, S.C. (WPDE) — A letter was recently sent to residents at Magnolia North Condos, in Myrtle Beach, after multiple bat sightings were reported, including one incident where a bat was inside a condo.

The letter from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says that on June 20th there was a report of a bat inside a condo and additional bat sightings have been reported over the past eight months around the complex.

General Interest

New warnings on sea rise

Downtown Charleston flooded on roughly one out of every seven days last year. That’s more than just a record-breaking number of tidal inundations, it’s an alarming warning of a much wetter future for the city.

It’s a call to action.

Maybe the 50 flooded days Charleston endured in 2016 represent an outlier. After all, the previous record, set in 2015, was 38 days. It was 11 in 2014.