Columbia, SC (WLTX) The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) received a report of a confirmed case of measles in a resident who lives in Georgetown County on Friday, August 10, from a local healthcare provider.
DHEC has begun a contact investigation and is notifying people who may have been exposed in specific settings.
A notification to healthcare providers to be on alert for patients with signs or symptoms of measles.
Though measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, it is still common in other parts of the world. This is the second confirmed case of measles in South Carolina since 1990. The previous case was in Charleston in 1997.
"Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness and is highly contagious," said Dr. Linda Bell, DHEC's state epidemiologist. "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."
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 through 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.