SC health department reporting 23 monkeypox cases

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:36 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 7:42 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more than 6,300 cases of the Monkeypox virus across the U.S., including 23 in South Carolina.

Seven of those 23 are in the Lowcountry.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control provided an update on the outbreak Wednesday, reporting a very different situation here than in other parts of the country. New York, California and Illinois are reporting a combined 3,000 cases and have declared the outbreak a state of emergency.

The virus can cause flu-like symptoms, rashes and lesions. The first case in South Carolina appeared in July, and with the case number now over 20, officials with DHEC want to remind the public anyone can get the virus.

The risk, however, is still very low, they say.

It mostly spreads through skin-to-skin contact and less commonly through clothes or shared surfaces. DHEC officials say the nationwide trend of the virus spreading mostly among men who have sex with men is also happening here in South Carolina.

Although some other states are staying more cautious, our health department says it’s not an emergency here.

“Contact with things in the environment, such as doorknobs and handrails, are not a risk at this time,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said Wednesday. “It’s unlikely that someone could get [Monkeypox] through routine community activities like going to grocery stores or restaurants or being in an elevator with someone.”

Bell says DHEC will request the maximum number of doses – a little under 7,000 – of an FDA-approved Monkeypox vaccine. They’re currently offering that to high-risk groups at 14 clinics across the state

You can find vaccine and treatment resources at DHEC’s website.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.