SC health officials confirm measles case in the Upstate

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Enviornmental Control received a report of measles from the Upstate and testing has confirmed it.

The report came out of Spartanburg County after a resident who recently traveled out of the U.S. showed symptoms. DHEC confirmed the case after receiving test results from its certified public health laboratory Monday, Oct. 29.

DHEC has begun a contact investigation and is in the process of notifying people who may have been exposed in specific settings. DHEC has notified healthcare providers to be on alert for patients with signs or symptoms of measles. Healthcare professionals should immediately report clinically suspected measles cases to their regional public health office.

"Measles is a highly contagious acute viral respiratory illness," said Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC's state epidemiologist. "It is crucial that healthcare providers and the public be aware of the symptoms associated with this disease. It is proven that the best way to prevent measles is by vaccination. I strongly encourage everyone to review their immunization records and make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations."

Measles is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. 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.

Measles virus is highly contagious and spreads through the air due to coughing and sneezing.

The best way to prevent measles is through vaccination. Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine: the first at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second at 4 to 6 years of age. Children 6 to 12 months should get an early dose of MMR vaccine if they are traveling to a country where measles is common. For all ages, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are going to be traveling to another country.

For more information about measles visit DHEC website or CDC website.

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