Updated July 17, 2023
DHEC has closed the mpox outbreak that began a year ago. Meanwhile, our work to prevent communicable disease, including mpox, continues across the state.
Reported mpox cases have declined significantly from the peak of the outbreak and the declared public health emergency has ended. Weekly mpox case and vaccination reports will no longer be posted on the DHEC website. Please see the CDC website for bi-weekly mpox case and vaccine updates.
Mpox transmission may still occur within South Carolina. Providers should continue to test patients with clinical symptoms suggestive of mpox and offer or recommend mpox vaccination as part of routine STD care.
In addition, DHEC strongly recommends that people receive both doses of the mpox vaccination prior to activities that could lead to high-risk contact. There is some protection after the first dose, but the best protection occurs two weeks after the second dose. Jynneos vaccine continues to be made available through DHEC and selected provider clinics that routinely provide STD and HIV clinical services to those most at risk of exposure. You may search for options near you on the mpox vaccine provider map.
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.
As of Friday, Mar. 31, 2023, there have been 239 cases of mpox reported in South Carolina. There has been 1 new case reported since the last report.
A regional breakdown of cases in South Carolina is as follows:
49 cases in the Lowcountry,
85 cases in the Midlands,
30 cases in the Pee Dee,
75 cases in the Upstate region.
Visit the mpox Demographic Information page for additional information on the reported mpox cases and mpox vaccinations, as of March 25, 2023.
DHEC is responding to these cases and vaccinating high-risk contacts with Jynneos, a safe and 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.
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.
While mpox cases have declined significantly from the peak of the U.S. outbreak, 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.
To date, South Carolina has received 4,287 vials of Jynneos vaccine from the federal government and has given 4,552 total vaccinations.
Visit the CDC’s mpox vaccine administration page for updated information about doses administered.
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 Those At Higher Risk Need to Know
These materials are for those at higher risk of exposure to mpox. They provide information about what mpox is, its symptoms and what you can do now and after getting a vaccination.
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
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms usually appear 7–14 days after exposure.
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
- 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 (MPOV) 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.
- See previously released HANs:
- Update for Clinicians on Monkeypox (MPX) in People with HIV, Children and Adolescents, and People who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding (8-01-2022)
- Updated Guidance for the Evaluation and Treatment of Monkeypox (MPX) (7-29-2022)
- Update for Clinicians on Testing and Treatment of Monkeypox (7-29-2022)
- Updated Guidance for Monkeypox Virus (MPXV) Evaluation (7-06-2022)
- Updated Case-finding Guidance: Monkeypox Outbreak—United States, 2022 (6-15-2022)
- Monkeypox Virus Infection in the United States and Other Non-endemic Countries—2022 (5-20-2022)