Updated August 17, 2022
DHEC is responding to the 2022 US outbreak of monkeypox (MPX) 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
DHEC reports confirmed cases of MPX daily to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); view the CDC's MPX tracker map for current cases by state. Each Friday, DHEC also provides a regional breakdown of cases in South Carolina. As of Friday, Aug. 12, there have been 57 cases of MPX reported in South Carolina:
- 16 cases in the Lowcountry,
- 22 cases in the Midlands,
- 1 case in the Pee Dee regions and,
- 18 cases in the Upstate.
DHEC is responding to these cases and vaccinating high-risk contacts with a safe, FDA-approved vaccine for MPX. To date, South Carolina has received 3,647 Jynneos vaccine doses from the federal government and has given 452 total vaccinations..
Unlike COVID-19 or other viruses that pose a larger threat to the public, MPX 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.
The public, community partners, healthcare providers and others can share these materials to help increase awareness of and reduce exposure to MPX in South Carolina.
What Those At Higher Risk Need to Know
These materials are for those at higher risk of exposure to MPX. They provide information about what MPX is, its symptoms and what you can do now and after getting a vaccination.
What You Need to Know About MPX
MPX 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. MPX, is a reportable condition in South Carolina as a novel infectious agent.
MPX spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or bodily fluids. MPX 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 MPX, such as bedding and towels. It can also be spread through coughing or saliva from a person with MPX.
- Painful skin rash
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms usually appear 7–14 days after exposure.
If you are concerned that you may have MPX or have had prolonged close contact with someone who has received a MPX 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 MPX is at risk of being infected.
Key Information for Clinical Providers
- If you suspect MPX 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 MPX 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 MPX, DHEC has pre-positioned TPOXX antiviral treatment across the state. Please consult the DHEC MD on-call to obtain TPOXX for a patient. 803-898-0861 (daytime) or (888) 847-0902 (nights/weekends). Do not call CDC directly.
- Jynneos vaccine is available through DHEC clinics to those most at risk of exposure. Eligible individuals can call the DHEC CareLine (855) 472-3432 to find out if they are eligible to schedule an appointment. The vaccine is not recommended for the general public or healthcare workers right now.
- 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)