2022 Monkeypox (MPOX) Outbreak

Updated February 3, 2023


DHEC is responding to the 2022 US outbreak of monkeypox (MPOX) virus to ensure the health and safety of all South Carolinians. We are following CDC guidance to monitor contacts of known patients and identify any infected people in our state. DHEC is vaccinating those at higher risk to stop the potential spread of the virus. Learn more about DHEC’s response efforts.

 


Latest case counts, vaccinations

Cases in South Carolina

DHEC reports confirmed cases of mpox daily to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); view the CDC's MPOX tracker map for current cases by state.

NOTE: Beginning Feb. 1, 2023, the CDC will be updating national mpox case and vaccine data every two weeks. DHEC will follow the CDC's new reporting schedule; the next report will be posted Feb. 17, 2023

As of Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, there have been 236 cases of mpox reported in South Carolina. There have been two new cases reported since the last report.

A regional breakdown of cases in South Carolina is as follows:

    46 cases in the Lowcountry,
    85 cases in the Midlands,
    30 cases in the Pee Dee,
    75 cases in the Upstate region.

DHEC is responding to these cases and vaccinating high-risk contacts with a safe, FDA-approved vaccine for mpox.

Unlike COVID-19 or other viruses that pose a larger threat to the public, mpox vaccinations at this time are not recommended for the general population because of the specific way the virus spreads. They are currently only recommended for those who are part of high-risk groups.

On Aug. 29, 2022, DHEC changed the way it gives people mpox (Jynneos) vaccine. The new method, which is approved by the FDA and CDC, calls for giving intradermal shots just under the first layer of skin. This replaces subcutaneous shots into the fat layer farther below the skin.

Before this change, a full vial of Jynneos vaccine was used to vaccinate someone. The new way takes less than a vial, meaning  each vial of vaccine now contains multiple doses. This will allow more South Carolinians who are eligible to get vaccinated. The new way of giving the vaccine is just as safe and effective as the way it was given at the beginning.

Before this change, the number of vials of Jynneos vaccine DHEC had received was equal to the number of doses available. Now up to five (average of three to four) doses can come from a single vial. In order to provide the best data to compare vaccine use over time, DHEC each week will report the total number of vials received in the state, each of which contains one to five available doses. 

To date, South Carolina has received 4,287 vials of Jynneos vaccine from the federal government and has given 4,373 total vaccinations.

Visit the mpox Demographic Information page for additional information on the reported mpox cases and mpox vaccinations, as of Jan. 28, 2023.

MPOX Demographic Information

Vaccinations

Jynneos vaccine is being made available through DHEC and select private clinics to those most at risk of exposure. You may search for options near you on the mpox vaccine provider map. DHEC is accepting appointments for vaccination at selected clinics for:

  • Any man who has sex with men (MSM), including gay or bisexual men, transgender, or gender non-conforming individuals 
  • Any person receiving HIV PrEP treatment 
  • Any person who believes they are at risk for exposure to mpox based upon the above criteria.

Mpox cases have declined significantly from the peak of the U.S. outbreak, but very low-level transmission continues. The risk to the general public is low; however, people who have been identified as being at high risk for infection can still possibly be exposed. DHEC continues to recommend that individuals at high risk get vaccinated and take steps to avoid exposure. 

As of Feb. 1, 2023, eligibility for Jynneos vaccine was expanded to allow vaccination for any person who believes they are at risk of exposure to mpox as described in the initial criteria. The definition of those at risk remains the same. Those at high risk for whom vaccination is recommended is anyone who is likely to have direct, unprotected contact with someone infected with mpox. 

People can either call the DHEC Care Line (855) 472-3432 or go online to confirm eligibility and to schedule an appointment. The vaccine is not recommended for the general public or healthcare workers right now.

Unlike COVID-19 or other viruses that pose a larger threat to the public, mpox vaccinations at this time are not recommended for the general population because of the specific way the virus spreads. They are currently only recommended for those who are part of high-risk groups.

Visit the CDC’s mpox vaccine administration page for updated information about doses administered.

Educational Materials

The public, community partners, healthcare providers and others can share these materials to help increase awareness of and reduce exposure to mpox in South Carolina.

What Everyone Needs to Know

These materials provide information about what mpox is, its symptoms, and what you can do.

Poster

Fact Sheet

What You Need to Know About mpox

MPOX is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last two to four weeks. MPOX, is a reportable condition in South Carolina as a novel infectious agent.

MPOX spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or bodily fluids. MPOX can spread during intimate contact between people, including sex, kissing, hugging, or talking closely; and touching fabrics and objects that were used by a person with mpox, such as bedding and towels. It can also be spread through coughing or saliva from a person with mpox.

  • Painful skin rash
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Symptoms usually appear 7–14 days after exposure.

CDC Monkeypox Visuals

If you are concerned that you may have mpox or have had prolonged close contact with someone who has received a mpox diagnosis, please talk to your usual health care provider or if you do not have one, call your local health department or an Urgent Care.

At this time, the risk to the general public is low. Currently, the vast majority of cases are occurring among gay and bisexual men. However, anyone who has prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has mpox is at risk of being infected.

Key Information for Clinical Providers

Aug. 3, 2022: Dr. Linda Bell provides mpox information to our state's healthcare providers
  • If you suspect mpox in a patient, after your evaluation please report it to your DHEC regional epidemiology team. DHEC may initiate contact tracing pending laboratory results for highly probably cases and provide additional guidance.
  • Testing for mpox is available through commercial laboratories or the Public Health Laboratory. PHL testing requires pre-approval but has faster turnaround time. See HAN: Updated Guidance for Monkeypox Virus (MPXV) Evaluation (7-06-2022).
  • For individuals with severe cases of mpox, DHEC has pre-positioned TPOXX antiviral treatment across the state.  Please consult the DHEC Medical Consultant  covering your region to obtain TPOXX for a patient.   Do not call CDC directly.

Lowcountry

Allendale, Bamberg, Beaufort,
Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston,
Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton,
Jasper, Orangeburg

4050 Bridge View Drive, Suite 600
N. Charleston, SC 29405

Office: (843) 441-1091
Fax: (843) 953-0051
Nights/Weekends: (843) 441-1091

Midlands

Aiken, Barnwell, Chester,
Edgefield, Fairfield, Lancaster,
Lexington, Kershaw, Newberry,
Richland, Saluda, York

2000 Hampton Street
Columbia, SC 29204

Office: (888) 801-1046
Fax: (803) 576-2993
Nights/Weekends: (888) 801-1046

Pee Dee

Clarendon, Chesterfield,
Darlington, Dillon, Florence,
Georgetown, Horry, Lee, Marion,
Marlboro, Sumter, Williamsburg

1931 Industrial Park Road
Conway, SC 29526

Office: (843) 915-8886
Fax: (843) 915-6506
Nights/Weekends: (843) 409-0695

Upstate

Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee,
Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens,
McCormick, Oconee, Pickens,
Spartanburg, Union

352 Halton Road
Greenville, SC 29607

Office: (864) 372-3133
Fax: (864) 282-4373
Nights/Weekends: (864) 423-6648

Tags

Monkeypox (MPX) Statewide