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Laurens County resident undergoing rabies treatment after cat tested positive

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A Laurens County resident is getting treatment after being exposed to rabies, WSPA7 reported April 1.

A stray cat in the Gray Court area of Laurens County has tested positive for the disease, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

This is the fourth rabid animal confirmed this year in Laurens County. During 2013, South Carolina confirmed 124 cases of rabies. So far 31 cases have been confirmed statewide in 2014.

Sandra Craig of DHEC warms people of the risk of rabies from animals acting out of character saying

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, we recommend that people avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild."

Around 275 South Carolinian's are treated each year after being exposed by bites or scratches by a rabid or suspected rabid animal.

The most common carriers are raccoons, foxes, skunks and bats. Domestic pets usually contract rabies after fighting with an infected wild animal. More information on rabies can be found on the DHEC website.

According to South Carolina law, cats and dogs must be vaccinated against the disease by a person licensed in the state of SC. This is a good reference on a state by state basis for rabies vaccination laws.

Please share this article as a warning that rabies is still a disease we have to protect our companion animals from, whether they reside inside or out. It's not only the law, it's common sense to protect our four-legged family members.

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