By NewsDesk @bactiman63
South Carolina health officials report that a rabid raccoon entered the Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, South Carolina.
It is reported that at least one person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider.
“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals plenty of space”, said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “If you see an animal in need, avoid touching it and contact someone trained in handling animals, such as your local animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator.”
This raccoon is the 14th animal in Lexington County to test positive for rabies in 2020. There have been 167 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2011, South Carolina has averaged approximately 130 positive cases a year. In 2019, 17 of the 148 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Lexington County.
Rabies is a virus that can be transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body of a healthy person or animal. It infects cells in the central nervous system, causing disease in the brain and, ultimately, death.
Any mammal has the ability to carry and transmit the disease to humans or pets. Rabies is transmitted when saliva or neural tissue of an infected animal is introduced into the body. Exposure can occur through a bite, scratch or contact with saliva to broken skin or mucous membranes such as the eyes or mouth.
It’s important to remember that rabies is a medical urgency, but not an emergency. Rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt, appropriate medical care.
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