COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina health officials are looking for people who may have come in contact with a rabid puppy or its missing littermate along the Georgia-South Carolina border.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Friday that the agency recently identified a rabid puppy that was born in Edgefield County, near Lanier Road in the town of Johnston.
The small, tan-and-white pit bull puppy was approximately seven weeks old and weighed about five pounds. The dog and a littermate were taken to Augusta, Georgia between July 14 and July 17. Both puppies were also taken to a gathering in Clearwater, South Carolina around that time, the agency said. The rabid puppy was also taken to a birthday party in Florence, South Carolina.
Health officials have yet to find the littermate or identify its rabies status.
DHEC is now searching for people who attended the Clearwater gathering or may have had contact with the littermate puppy.
“We are deeply concerned about all persons involved, as rabies is fatal if left untreated after exposure,” said Dr. Gil Potter, Midlands Region Medical Director.
People who came in contact with the puppy's saliva should seek medical attention, as they may have been exposed to rabies, the agency said. Animals can shed the virus for up to two weeks before showing symptoms of rabies.