Stray cat exposes person to rabies in Greenville County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – A person is receiving preventive treatment after being exposed to rabies in Greenville County by a stray cat that tested positive for the disease, the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control reported Wednesday.

This is the second recently reported case of rabies exposure in Greenville County. Earlier this month, another person was exposed after coming into contact with a fox that tested positive for the disease.

About 275 South Carolinians must undergo preventive treatment for rabies every year, with most exposures coming from bites or scratches by a rabid or suspected rabid animal. Wild animals transmit the disease most often, but domestic pets can contract rabies as well.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild,"  said Sandra Craig of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services.

If you are bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal or get the animal's saliva in a wound, wash the area immediately with plenty of soap and water, seek medical attention and report the incident to DHEC, Craig advised.

State law requires pet owners to have their pets regularly vaccinated against rabies.

Note: Due to DHEC regulations, no further geographic information as to this incident's location is available.

On the Web:

For more information about rabies, see DHEC's webpage at

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's rabies webpage can be found at