9 South Carolina residents potentially exposed to rabies by a goat

South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating nine potential cases of rabies in the state.

Nine people may have been exposed to rabies while handling a goat on their property. The goat tested positive for rabies March 8. The DHEC recommended the nine people handling the goat visit their healthcare provider.

There have been 25 confirmed cases of rabies across South Carolina in 2019. Last year, there were 100 confirmed cases.

Rabies is most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal, infecting the central nervous system, according to the CDC.

"However, saliva or neural tissue contact with open wounds or areas such as the eyes, nose or mouth could also potentially transmit rabies. To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space," said David Vaughan, director of DHEC's Onsite Wastewater, Rabies Prevention, and Enforcement Division.

The disease, if untreated, results in death within days of the symptoms occurring in humans.

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