On World Rabies Day, DHEC provides tips on how to protect yourself, pet

(WSPA)—Today marks World Rabies Day.

The international event, not only raises awareness about the disease, but also aims to end it all together.

The virus lives in the saliva of animals, so if that comes in contact with broken skin or eyes or mouth, you’re at risk.

If you ever believe you’ve been exposed to rabies, you obviously need to see a doctor immediately. Hundreds of people across South Carolina are treated every year.

A South Carolinian died in 2011, the first in 53 years, after not reporting rabies exposure from a bat. The CDC estimates rabies treatments cost around $300 million dollars each year.

DHEC keeps track of all the reported rabies cases and so far we’ve had 74 cases statewide in the Upstate.

Greenwood County had the most with six. Pickens County had five and in Spartanburg County there were 4 cases.

State law requires you to vaccinate dogs, cats, and even ferrets against rabies. You have to keep those records up to date. It protects your pet and cuts down on the spread of rabies. Vets tell us it’s a low-cost way to help protect your community from this deadly illness.

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