The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a calf raised near Highway 28 South in Clemson, S.C., has tested positive for rabies. The calf was part of a rabies-vaccinated herd but was too young to have been vaccinated against rabies. Thirteen people were potentially exposed and have been referred to their healthcare providers.
The calf was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on March 22, 2022, and was confirmed to have rabies on March 23, 2022.
South Carolina law requires all dogs, cats, and ferrets be vaccinated against rabies and revaccinated at a frequency to provide continuous protection of the pet from rabies using a vaccine approved by the department and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Livestock are susceptible to rabies and all livestock with USDA approved rabies vaccinations should be vaccinated. Cattle and horses, however, are the most frequently reported infected livestock species. Species for which licensed vaccines are not available (goat and swine), that have frequent contact with people or are considered valuable, should also be vaccinated.
“Keeping your pets and livestock current on their rabies vaccination is a responsibility that comes with owning an animal. It is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, your pets, and your livestock from this fatal disease. That is an investment worth making to provide yourself some peace of mind,” said Terri McCollister, DHEC’s Rabies Program Team Leader. If your pet or livestock animal is found with wounds of unknown origin, please consider that your animal may have been exposed to rabies.
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