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York County couple treated for rabies exposure

State health officials say a York County man and woman were exposed to rabies in the Rock Hill area, and are undergoing post-exposure treatment.

The S.C. State Department of Health and Environmental Control said the two encountered a fox that tested positive for rabies.

“To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild,” said Sue Ferguson of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services.

“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 carry the disease most often, but domestic pets can contract rabies as well,” Ferguson said.

If you think you have been exposed to the rabies virus through a bite, scratch or the saliva of a possibly infected animal, immediately wash the affected area with plenty of soap and water before seeking medical attention.

Ferguson said state law requires pet owners to have their pets regularly vaccinated against the disease.

There were 137 confirmed cases of animal rabies during 2012 in South Carolina.

There have been 59 confirmed cases in animals statewide this year.

This animal is the sixth to test positive this year from York County.

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