Rabid Fox Confirmed in Spartanburg County; One Person Exposed

A rabid fox walking on grass.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) confirmed that a fox found near Fairview Street and Wofford Street in Woodruff has tested positive for rabies.

One person was exposed and has been referred to their healthcare provider.

The fox was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on April 1, 2021, and was confirmed to have rabies on April 2, 2021.

“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite or scratch which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, infected saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose, or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies,” said Terri McCollister, Rabies Program Team Leader. “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, wildlife control operator, or a wildlife rehabilitator.”

If you believe that you, your family members, or your pets have come into contact with this fox or another animal that potentially has rabies, please report the potential exposure to a healthcare provider or veterinarian, and contact DHEC’s Environmental Affairs Spartanburg office at (864) 596-3327 during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday) or after-hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).

It is important to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination, as this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect against the disease. This fox is the first  animal in Spartanburg County to test positive for rabies in 2021. There have been 18 cases of rabid animals statewide this year. Since 2002, South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year. In 2020, four of the 168 confirmed rabies cases in South Carolina were in Spartanburg County.

Contact information for local Environmental Affairs Offices is available at www.scdhec.gov/EAoffices. For more information on rabies visit www.scdhec.gov/rabies or www.cdc.gov/rabies.