The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on Friday night announced that two people in the state were believed to be infected by the COVID-19 virus, a novel strain of the coronavirus.
According to DHEC, samples from the two patients have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to have the cases verified. Officials also said the two cases are unrelated and the CDC should be able to confirm the diagnoses at some point this weekend.
The patients are a Charleston County woman in her 30s and an elderly woman in Kershaw County. The local woman is a team member at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) who recently returned from a trip to France and Italy. She self-quarantined after returning and hasn’t required hospitalization.
The elderly patient in Kershaw County has been hospitalized and is being kept in isolation.
The COVID-19 coronavirus is a respiratory illness that originated late last year in China. There have been over 98,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, most of which are in China. As of Friday, the CDC says the virus has been confirmed in 89 countries worldwide and 19 states in America. The CDC is reporting 11 deaths in the United States - as of Friday.
MUSC is offering free virtual care for state residents experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Click here to access the program and use code COVID19 for free service.