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Lexington rabies exposure reported

1 person in Lexington and 2 others in the Midlands have been  exposed to rabies.

2 people in the Newberry County town of Prosperity were referred to their health care providers after being potentially exposed to rabies by their pet cat that tested positive for the disease. The potential exposures occurred Aug. 1 when the victims were bitten by the cat in Prosperity. The cat was described as a large, gray domestic short-haired tabby. The cat was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing Aug. 2 and was confirmed to have rabies Aug. 5.

1 person in the town of Lexington was referred to their health care provider after coming into contact with a fox that tested positive for rabies.The potential exposure occurred Aug. 2 when the victim was attacked by a fox on their property in the town of Lexington. The fox was submitted to DHEC's laboratory for testing Aug. 2 and was confirmed to have rabies Aug. 5.

"Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies," said David Vaughan, Director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space. 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," said Vaughan.

It is also important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family, and your pets from this fatal disease.

If you have reason to believe that you, family members, or pets have come into contact with an animal that potentially has rabies, please call DHEC's Environmental Affairs Columbia office at (803) 896-0620 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday). 


Mailing Address:
     PO Box 9 Lexington
     SC 29071
Street Address:
     131 Swartz Rd.
     Lexington SC 29072
Phone: 803-359-7633
Fax: 803-359-2936