The first case of measles in South Carolina since 1997 has been reported in Georgetown County, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Measles is a highly contagious and sometimes deadly virus that can spread when people cough or sneeze.
DHEC says it received a report on Friday of a confirmed case of measles in a resident who lives in Georgetown County.
The state agency is investigating and trying to contact people who pay have been exposed.
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DHEC said it’s told healthcare providers to look for patients with symptoms of measles and immediately report cases to their regional public health office.
According to DHEC, measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 but is still common in some parts of the world. DHEC says this is the second confirmed case of measles in South Carolina since 1990. The last case was in Charleston in 1997.
“Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness and is highly contagious,” said DHEC’s state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell in a news release. “It is critical that healthcare providers and the public be aware of the symptoms associated with this disease. The best way to prevent measles is by vaccination. I strongly encourage everyone to review their immunization records and make sure there are no other immunizations you need.”
The initial symptoms of measles include fever, cough, and runny nose, followed by a rash that can last five or six days.
DHEC says the best way to prevent measles is by vaccinating children with two doses of the MMR vaccine. The agency says the first shot should be given when kids are around 1 year old, and the second between 4 and 6 years old.
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian