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Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in York County; Three Pets Exposed

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Rabid Raccoon Confirmed in York County; Three Pets Exposed

In a significant public health concern, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has confirmed the discovery of a rabid raccoon in York County. This has caused alarm, as three cats were exposed to the infected animal.

The Incident

The event unfolded near Hall Spencer Road and Quaint Lane in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The raccoon tested positive for rabies, raising concerns about the possible spread of the deadly virus in the vicinity. Fortunately, no known human exposure has been reported at this time. Steps have been taken to quarantine the three cats exposed to the virus, as per the South Carolina Rabies Control Act regulations.

The raccoon was submitted for testing at DHEC’s laboratory on March 7, 2024, and was positively identified as a carrier of the rabies virus by the following day.

Public Alert and Safety Measures

If you believe you have come into contact with this raccoon or any other animal that could potentially carry the rabies virus, it is critical to contact DHEC’s Public Health office in Rock Hill immediately. The office can be reached during normal business hours at (803) 909-7096 or after hours and on holidays at (888) 847-0902 (Select Option 2).

Terri McCollister, the Rabies Program Director, stressed the need for the public to maintain a safe distance from wild and stray animals to avoid exposure to the deadly virus. She further advised the residents of York County against handling wildlife in distress, recommending instead that professional animal control or wildlife rehabilitators be contacted.

How is Rabies Exposure Defined?

Rabies exposure is defined as direct contact with saliva or brain/nervous system tissue from an infected animal. This usually involves an animal bite or scratch that breaks the skin, but exposure can also occur if the infected animal’s saliva enters the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Pet Safety and Vaccination

Given the nature of the disease, pet owners are urged to vaccinate their pets as a key preventive measure against rabies. Pets found with wounds of unknown origin should be treated with caution as they might have been exposed to rabies. Vaccination, in this case, is not only the most effective but also the easiest way to protect pets against this deadly condition.

Rabies in York County

This is the second case this year where an animal in York County has tested positive for rabies. The county, in the previous year of 2023, accounted for six of the 78 confirmed rabies cases statewide. As of now, there have been 14 confirmed cases of rabid animals across South Carolina in 2024.

For further information regarding rabies and the required measures in case of potential exposure, the public can visit the DHEC’s official page at or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at

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