Measles cases in SC dou­ble in less than a week, DHEC re­ports

The State - - News - BY NOAH FEIT nfeit@thes­tate.com

The num­ber of re­ported measles cases in South Carolina has dou­bled since last week, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Health and En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­trol (DHEC).

While it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mul­ti­ple measles cases, DHEC said it is no­ti­fy­ing peo­ple who might have been ex­posed to the virus.

There are cur­rently six cases of measles in Spartanburg County, DHEC re­ported.

On Nov. 2, DHEC con­firmed three cases of measles in the Up­state county. Those were the first re­ported cases of the measles in S.C. in 20 years, The State re­ported.

The first three doc­u­mented cases in­volved “chil­dren who are un­vac­ci­nated, not of school age and do not at­tend day­care,” ac­cord­ing to DHEC. No word has been given on the back­ground of the three most re­cent cases of the virus, but DHEC said none of the cases in­volve “a school or child care set­ting.”

But DHEC is no­ti­fy­ing peo­ple who might have re­cently been at one of mul­ti­ple ur­gent care fa­cil­i­ties when in­di­vid­u­als with the measles vis­ited “while they were in­fec­tious.”

“Measles is a se­ri­ous dis­ease that can lead to hos­pi­tal­iza­tion and even death,” ac­cord­ing to DHEC. “The ini­tial symp­toms of measles in­clude fever, cough, and runny nose. Th­ese symp­toms are fol­lowed by a rash. The rash usu­ally lasts five or six days.”

DHEC says measles is “highly con­ta­gious” and “spreads through the air when an in­fected per­son coughs or sneezes.”

The best way to pre­vent measles is to get vac­ci­nated, ac­cord­ing to DHEC, adding vac­ci­na­tion is also crit­i­cal in pre­vent­ing the spread of measles.

“I can’t en­cour­age peo­ple enough to re­view their im­mu­niza­tion records and make sure they are up-to­date on all vac­ci­na­tions,” DHEC’s state epi­demi­ol­o­gist Dr. Linda Bell said in a news re­lease.

A case of measles was also con­firmed in Georgetown County ear­lier in the year, ac­cord­ing to Lex­ing­ton Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

Spartanburg res­i­dents can re­ceive a free vac­ci­na­tion un­til Nov. 21 at the Spartanburg County Health Depart­ment. Call 1-855-472-3432 to make an ap­point­ment.

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