Laurens, South Carolina – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed that a fox found near Fairview Road and Henderson Lane in Laurens has tested positive for rabies.
One person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider. A dog was also exposed and by law, must now be quarantined, as required in the South Carolina Rabies Control Act.
The fox was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Monday, July 18, and was confirmed to have rabies on Tuesday, July 19.
Earlier this summer a pet in Laurens County was exposed to a rabid skunk near Deerfield Drive and Meadowbrook Drive in Laurens.
Meanwhile, barely a week has gone by this summer without DHEC announcements that pets and sometimes their owners have been exposed to rabies, particularly in the summer when pets and their owners are outside more. Wildlife most often listed in DHEC rabies reports include foxes, skunks, bats and raccoons, and any of these animals should be avoided at all times, especially if exhibiting unusual behavior, such as out during the day when they typically would not be active.
It’s important to follow the law regarding domesticated pets such as cats and dogs, because if pets develop rabies, the consequences for contact with humans is dire.
According to the Center for Disease Control, early rabies symptoms in humans can be flu-like and may include an itching sensation at the site of the bite. Symptoms progress to more serious neurological effects. Once symptoms appear, survival is rare.
News story submitted, Thursday, July 21, 2022.