DHEC: New case of COVID-19 in Lancaster Co., 10 total in S.C.

Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is investigating one new possible case of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in the Palmetto State.

This brings the total number of cases in South Carolina to 10: eight presumptive positive cases and two confirmed cases.

The new case is a woman from Lancaster County.

Health officials are investigating how the woman contracted the virus. At this time, officials said they do not believe she traveled outside the state or came into contact with another known COVID-19 case.

Her samples tested positive at DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory. The patient is currently hospitalized and isolated. Her condition has not been shared.

DHEC said it’s working with the health care facility and taking routine measures to prevent possible spread of the virus.

The other cases of coronavirus in the state are mostly in Camden, which is in Kershaw County. There are seven cases in Kershaw County, one in Charleston County and one in Spartanburg County.

While several positive test results from DHEC still need to be confirmed by the CDC, there is no indication that those will not be confirmed.

So far, 51 people have been tested for coronavirus in South Carolina, according to DHEC’s website.

Officials said previously they have the ability to test up to 100 people a day.

The first positive case was announced Friday, March 6. Since then, less than 10 people a day on average have been tested for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the coronavirus is spread mainly from person-to-person by those in close contact, or through coughing and sneezing by someone who’s infected.

Symptoms of coronavirus can show up between two and 14 days of exposure, health officials say. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. They can be mild to severe, and in some cases can lead to death.

Those who are at the highest risk of catching COVID-19 are the young, the elderly and those who are already being treated for chronic medical diseases.

Doctors say there is not currently a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, but over-the-counter medications, like cold and cough medicines, can help treat symptoms of the virus.

The mortality rate for people with the virus has been widely reported around 2 to 3%, but health experts note the actual percentage is not that high, as not all cases are diagnosed or reported.

The rate is higher than the flu, which kills on average about 0.1% of people who get it, based on a 10-year average of data from the CDC.

Anyone with concerns about their health, or who believes they are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, is urged to call their health care provider.

People with general questions about coronavirus should call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432. The line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Callers are urged to be patient as call volumes are high.

People without a doctor can take advantage of free care from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). They launched a FREE online platform to aid with coronavirus diagnosis and care. Log onto www.musc.care and access the COVID-19 platform. The service is free with code: COVID19.

Prisma Health also just launched a free virtual visit, which allows patients to video conference with a doctor instead of coming into a facility. The goal is to keep patients who don’t need to be treated at a hospital at home. Go to prismahealth.org/virtual-visit and use promo code COVID19 for a free virtual visit.

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