1 treated for rabies exposure after fox attack in western York County

One person is undergoing preventive treatment after being exposed to rabies in western York County by a fox that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Friday.

The fox came out from underneath the victim’s car in the Sharon community and attacked the victim on May 24. The fox tested positive for rabies on May 27. DHEC officials did not release the gender of the victim or additional details about the case.

There have been 61 confirmed rabies cases in animals statewide this year. This fox is the third animal to test positive in 2015 from York County. There were 13 that tested positive in York County in 2014.

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

“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,” said Sandra Craig of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health Services. “Then be sure to get medical attention and report the incident to DHEC.”