Woman is SC's 1st human rabies case in 50 years - FOX Carolina 21

Woman is SC's 1st human rabies case in 50 years

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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -

State health officials said a middle-aged Sumter County woman has become the first human to contract rabies in South Carolina in more than 50 years.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Friday that doctors think the woman was bitten by a rabid bat a few months ago in her home.

Dr. Eric Brenner with DHEC said the disease travels slowly, taking weeks to reach the brain and nervous system. He said once there, the symptoms like headaches and seizures begin and the infection is almost always fatal.

Federal health officials said getting treatment before symptoms show up almost always prevents the disease.

DHEC said federal health privacy laws will not allow it to release any other information on the woman, including whether she is alive.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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