SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control said the first two cases of monkeypox have been reported in South Carolina.

According to DHEC, one case was reported in the Midlands region and the other in the Lowcountry. The department is responding to the outbreak of the virus to ensure the health and safety of all South Carolinians.

DHEC said the department is responding to the cases and vaccinating high-risk contacts with a safe FDA-approved vaccine for monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body, DHEC said. Infections could last two to four weeks.

DHEC said monkeypox does not spread easily between people but can be spread through close contact with items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores such as clothing or bedding.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to someone with monkeypox should seek medical attention from their healthcare provider or a local health department.