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Reporting and Treating Animal Bites and Possible Rabies Exposures

Report All Cases Involving Animal Bites to DHEC

If you provide care for a patient who has been bitten by an animal – whether the animal involved is a pet, stray, farm animal, exotic pet or wild animal – you are required to report the name, age, gender, weight, address and telephone number of the person bitten to DHEC no later than the end of the next working day.

Report animal bites by calling your regional DHEC Environmental Health Services office.

We will use the information to contact your patient (or if patient is a minor, their parent) to gather information about the incident and the animal so that we can determine the most appropriate course of action.

(See Mandatory Reporting of Animal Bites, S.C. State Code of Laws Section 47-5-90.)

Treating Patients for Possible Exposure to Rabies

DHEC's medical staff can help you assess your patient's exposure risks and answer your questions about rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

Most animal exposures will not require PEP. Certainly, if the animal can be located for quarantine or testing, it may prevent unnecessary PEP.

Payment Assistance/Reimbursement for Rabies PEP

If your patients are insured by Medicaid, lack health insurance, and/or cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket costs for rabies PEP, please consult the following resources:

DHEC Lab Services

Patient Handouts: Preventing Dog Bites

Pass these tips on to your patients to help them prevent dog bites in the future.

Prevent Dog Bites (DHEC)

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