DHEC: Puppy exposes 4 to rabies in Oconee County - KPTV - FOX 12

DHEC: Puppy exposes 4 to rabies in Oconee County

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SENECA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

 The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said four people were exposed to rabies by a puppy in the Seneca area of Oconee County. 

Officials said the puppy was attacked by a skunk several weeks ago and received veterinary care for the injuries, but the puppy was too young to be vaccinated against the disease at the time and died. 

The skunk was wild and was not available to be tested, DHEC officials said. 

Four people were referred to healthcare providers for post exposure consultation, officials said. 

"Unvaccinated pets that are exposed to the rabies virus must be quarantined or euthanized," said Sandra Craig of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services (BEHS). 

"Rabies is fatal once the virus reaches the brain, yet the heartache of losing a pet to this disease can be avoided. DHEC-sponsored rabies clinics are offered across the state by local veterinarians each spring, and low-cost vaccines are available every day at local veterinary clinics," Craig said. 

Officials said there were 139 confirmed cases of animals with rabies in South Carolina in 2014. This year, there has already been 8 confirmed cases statewide. 

The puppy is the first to test positive in 2015 in Oconee County. 

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