DHEC: Fighting woodchuck turns on Upstate victim, tests positive - FOX Carolina 21

DHEC: Fighting woodchuck turns on Upstate victim, tests positive for rabies

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Woodchuck (Source: Wikimedia Commons) Woodchuck (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
WALHALLA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said one person has been possibly exposed to rabies by a woodchuck in Oconee County.

Officials said two woodchucks, also known as groundhogs or whistle pigs, were fighting and one turned on the victim.

The victim was bitten and scratched by the animal near Highway 28 and Playground Road. One of the woodchucks was tested and confirmed on Monday to have rabies.

The victim has been referred to a healthcare provider for consultation.

Officials warned the community to contact the DHEC Bureau of Environmental Health Services if they believe they or a pet have interacted with possible rabid wildlife.

"To reduce the risk of getting rabies, always give wild and stray animals their space," said Sandra Craig, Director, DHEC Food Protection and Rabies Prevention Division. "If you see an animal in need, avoid handling it and contact your local animal control office or wildlife rehabilitation facility."

For details visit the SC DHEC website.

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