COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – The first confirmed cases of Monkeypox in the Midlands was reported Friday.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said two cases of the disease were found in South Carolina. One was on a person in the Midlands and another in the Lowcountry. Both individuals are currently being monitored to prevent further spread.
An investigation is currently underway by regional epidemiology staff for contact tracing. Vaccinations are being offered to potentially impacted individuals. The CDC has been notified of the cases.
Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist 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 does not spread easily and we believe the risk to the general population remains low at this time. ”
The rare virus can potentially become serious. It typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes. It can produce a rash on the face and body.
The current global outbreak is different than previous ones. Experts report it has a longer onset and the rash may only appear on part of the body. Most infections last between two to four weeks.
DHEC said it is not easily transmitted, normally through prolonged skin contact. This includes sexual activity and contaminated materials such as clothing or bed sheets from an infected person.
If you have concerns about potential exposure or have an unusual, new rash DHEC is advising to contact your healthcare provider or local health department.
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