First confirmed rabies case in Aiken Co.

There has been one confirmed case of rabies in a cat this year for Aiken county and it's one of out 25 total for the state of South Carolina.

According to SC DHEC, rabies are found mostly in skunks, bats, foxes and raccoons in South Carolina and dogs, cats and even ferrets should be vaccinated routinely.

"It's a zoonotic disease, which mean it can be transmitted to humans through animals," said Chrissey Miller, Development Director for the Aiken SPCA.

Miller said it's disease that enlarges the brain - or causes the brain to swell - causing a number of things to happen both in animals and humans alike.

"Partial paralysis, hydrophobia, which is, of course, fear of water and eventual delirium," Miller described.

Rabies is also deadly. Miller says it is almost completely unsurvivable.

"There have only been a few documented cases of humans surviving the disease and generally it causes death in animals as well. Almost every time."

The good news, however, there is a simple, inexpensive way to ensure that your pets - and ultimately you - are protected.

"To prevent pets from getting rabies, we suggest an annual rabies shot. There are also 3-year rabies shots that are available but the shots we offer here at the SPCA are for one year and they're only ten dollars. So it's a very reasonable thing."

It is a law in the state of South Carolina to get all pets properly vaccinated for rabies, regularly.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.