Two people potentially exposed to rabies in Florence County

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Two people in Florence County have been referred to their healthcare providers after being potentially exposed to rabies by a pet dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Wednesday.

According to DHEC, the dog began exibiting unusual vocalizations and aggression around mid-October. The victims were subsequently exposed to saliva while trying to provide care for the animal. The dog died on Oct.30, and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Nov. 1. The animal was confirmed to have rabies on Nov. 2. The dog was not current on its rabies vaccination.

Experts say keeping your pets updated on their rabies vaccination is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can protect yourself, your family and your pets from the disease.

Pets, particularly those that stay outdoors, have the potential to come in contact with wild or stray animals. If unexplainable, visible wounds are found on your pet, immediately seek veterinary treatment.

The dog is the first animal in Florence County to test positive for rabies this year, but have been 89 confirmed cases of animal rabies statewide.