DHEC confirms 23 cases of monkeypox in S.C., vaccines very limited
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control provided an update on monkeypox.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said on Wednesday there are 23 confirmed cases of the illness in South Carolina.
MORE INFORMATION | DHEC information and guidance on Monkeypox
Monkeypox is a viral illness that is spread through close physical contact with an infected person and their skin sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.
Those infected with the illness begin with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body.
What are the symptoms of MPX?
- Painful skin rash
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
The symptoms will usually appear about seven to 14 days after the exposure.
Bell said that they have acquired the maximum doses that have been made available, which is a very limited national supply, to vaccinate those who have been identified as close contacts.
Bell added that the vast majority of cases are occurring among gay and bisexual men.
She said that while they are working to vaccinate those in high-risk categories, there are other precautions people can take to keep themselves healthy until vaccines become more readily available.
“DHEC has been treating individuals within minutes of being diagnosed. However, with the vaccines being very limited, the primary way to avoid monkeypox is to prevent exposure. This includes contact with those recently diagnosed or recently infected.
The CDC reports that as of Wednesday, there are over 6,300 confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States.
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