The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating six measles cases in Spartanburg County and implementing disease control measures. At this time, none of the cases have been associated with school or child care settings. We are sending this notification to increase general awareness in the community about preventing measles.
Measles is highly contagious. An individual with measles is likely to infect 90% of people, who have not been immunized, that they come in close contact with. Measles can result in serious illness with possible complications including lung infections and permanent brain damage. Measles is especially dangerous for infants and young children, pregnant women and individuals with a weakened immune system.
Vaccination with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to prevent measles. It is recommended that all children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, the first at 12 to 15 months of age and a booster dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Adults born after 1957 who have not been vaccinated are also recommended to be vaccinated with one dose of MMR.
All children in South Carolina attending school or child care are required to receive two doses of MMR vaccine unless they have a valid exemption. If a case of measles is identified in a school or child care center, any child or staff member who is not immune to measles must be excluded from the school or childcare for 21 days after the last case of measles. Individuals can return to the school or child care setting if they receive the MMR vaccine.
The MMR vaccine is available from local health care providers and DHEC health departments. It is also being made available at no cost at the Spartanburg County Health Department until November 21, 2018. Call 1-855-473-3432 for a DHEC immunization appointment. For more information about measles, visit the DHEC website here.
Linda J. Bell, MD
Director, Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control