Health officials confirm first cases of monkeypox in South Carolina

Source: Live 5
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 9:17 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - State health officials on Friday confirmed the first cases of monkeypox in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed two cases of the disease on Friday. One in the Midlands and another case in the Lowcountry.

Officials say the individuals will be monitored until they are no longer infectious in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

Regional epidemiology staffs are completing contact investigations and offering vaccines to those who may have been exposed, DHEC said.

“We understand residents have concerns about how this virus might impact our state,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said. “We expected infections to eventually occur in South Carolina as part of the larger international outbreak, which is why DHEC has been planning a response for weeks. That said, monkeypox doesn’t spread easily and we believe the risk to the general population remains low at this time.”

Health officials say a typical infection begins with flu-like symptoms and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last two to four weeks.

Anyone concerned about possible exposure or who develops a new or unusual rash is urged to seek medical attention from their primary care provider, urgent care or contact their local health department.

DHEC says the current cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CDC guidance is being followed.

More information on monkeypox can be found on the DHEC website and the CDC website.

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