Fox, bat test positive for rabies in South Carolina; residents urged to keep pets vaccinated

State - Regional

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina health officials are urging residents to keep pets up to date on their rabies vaccination after a fox and a bat tested positive for the disease.

A rabid fox in Travelers Rest north of Greenville exposed one person and two dogs to the virus, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Thursday. The bat was found in Gaston outside Columbia, but it is not known to have exposed any humans or pets.

Both animals tested positive for rabies this week.

Statewide, there have been 75 cases of rabid animals this year, according to health officials. South Carolina has averaged approximately 148 positive cases a year since 2002.

Health officials say bat bites are easy to overlook, so people should always assume they have been bitten when they wake up to find a bat in a room or tent or have been in direct contact with a bat. A bat bite should also be assumed when the animal is found in an area where children, pets, or persons with impaired mental capacity have been left unattended

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