Fox

A Greenwood County resident is undergoing medical evaluation after being potentially exposed to rabies by a fox that tested positive for the disease, state health officials said on Monday.

The exposure happened on Thursday when someone was bitten by fox. The animal was submitted to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s laboratory for testing on Friday and the diagnosis was confirmed over the weekend.

The incident occurred near the Larry Drive and Sandshore Drive area of Greenwood, a DHEC official said on Tuesday.

It’s the third animal in Greenwood County to test positive for rabies this year, bring the total number of cases statewide to 63. South Carolina averages 108 rabies cases annually, with eight of them in Greenwood County in 2018.

“Rabies is usually transmitted through a bite which allows saliva from an infected animal to be introduced into the body of a person or another animal. However, saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies,” David Vaughan, DHEC’s director of onsite wastewater, rabies prevention and enforcement division, said in a statement.

Anybody who believes they or a family member, pet or other person has come in contact with any animal that may have rabies is asked to call DHEC’s Greenwood office at 864-227-5915 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To report a bite or exposure on holidays or after business hours, call 888-847-0902.

Contact staff writer Adam Benson at 864-943-5650 or on Twitter @ABensonIJ.